Meet Sukhbir Singh Badal, president of the "party of common peasants". Sporting a stylish Breguet wristwatch, the Shiromani Akali Dal chief, while flying from Dhuri to Amargarh, announces, "I am the astrologer. We will win 60 seats in Malwa and 15 each in Doaba and Majha."
He goes on to add, "The BJP will fetch 10-15 seats. I can feel the pulse of the people. They are with us."
At most of his elections rallies, the SAD president harps on his government's achievements on the development front, its initiative to organise the kabaddi world cup and the benefits extended by it to the poor under the atta-dal and shagun schemes. He also speaks of cycles for girl students, as promised in the party manifesto. Another topic that figures prominently in just about every address is archrival and state Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh.
"They (Cong) will be thrown across the Wagah border," says the deputy CM as the crowd cheers him on. And his estranged cousin Manpreet Badal? "He is a big zero," retorts Badal.
As the helicopter leaves Dhuri, Badal's personal security officer hands him his hot case. But the SAD president is not happy with the paratha-achaar fare. He has a craving for "something from McDonald's" and asks a supporter to arrange for it. Three hours later, he finally gets his McDonald's burger at Jamalpur in Ludhiana.
Despite his hectic schedule, Badal makes it a point to update his father Parkash Singh Badal every on day-to-day developments. "He always has some valuable advice for me, though on occasions I also offer my suggestions. He is happy with my hard work." It is his children he misses the most. "I have not met them for days. My son is seven years old, younger than his two sisters."