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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Gen-next Akali leader to play bigger role as Dy CM: Sukhbir

PTI  Chandigarh, August 10, 2009
First Published: 13:26 IST(10/8/2009) | Last Updated: 13:26 IST(10/8/2009)

A sculptor by hobby, Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal will now be chiselling the future of Punjab after his re-instatement as the Deputy Chief Minister.

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The 47-year-old US-educated Sukhbir was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996 and 1998 and was Union Minister of State for Industry in the NDA government from 1998 to 1999.

He was also a member of Rajya Sabha from 2001 to 2004 before getting re-elected to the 14th Lok Sabha.

Sukhbir took over the reins of the ruling party from his ageing father and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in January last year. It was for the first time in the party's 87-year-old history that an incumbent President anointed someone from his immediate family to take his place.

The young leader, who had a quick rise in the power politics of Punjab, virtually calls the shots in the party and is seen as a prime mover in the SAD-BJP coalition government.

Sukhbir, who had to quit as Deputy Chief Minister last month after failing to enter the assembly within the stipulated six months following his induction to the post on January 21, has emerged as the defining face of 'Gen-next' Akalis -- 'Panthic' by lineage, modern in outlook and corporate in practice.

He has been talking about bringing "corporate culture" in the SAD.

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