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Sukbhir dy CM, BJP upset

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday confirmed the Shiromani Akali Dal Core Committee’s decision to have its party chief and MP Sukhbir Singh Badal installed as the state’s deputy chief minister.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2009 00:18 IST
Manish Tiwari

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday confirmed the Shiromani Akali Dal Core Committee’s decision to have its party chief and MP Sukhbir Singh Badal installed as the state’s deputy chief minister.

The confirmation found coalition partner BJP sending a four-member delegation to Delhi to seek the advice of senior leaders L.K. Advani and Rajnath Singh. The BJP has been demanding the deputy CM’s post for one of its own leaders.

“We are taking stock of the situation and rushing to Delhi to apprise the party high command of the developments,” said a BJP minister on condition of anonymity.

Sukhbir, who received a major share of the credit for the Akali Dal’s performance in the 2007 assembly polls, had been under consideration for the chief minister’s post for the past two years.

Since the Congress would project former CM Capt Amarinder Singh as its main campaigner for the Lok Sabha polls, there is growing realisation within the Akali Dal that anyone who can take him head-on is Sukhbir Badal , said a senior Akali leader.

“He’s a forceful campaigner and has great organisational ability. That would help in the polls,” said the chief minister’s media adviser Harcharan Bains.

After his induction, however, the government is likely to witness a shift in its functioning and overall governance. This is because the father and son are poles apart — both in their style of functioning and as personalities.