The shoe hit was the talk of the town here, as a day after the incident, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday filed his nomination papers amid tight security cover in Malout. The town encircles the 5-time MLA's Lambi assembly segment in Muktsar district.
Badal had his Union minister daughter-in-law Harsimrat Badal by his side as a covering candidate, with his deputy chief minister-son Sukhbir Badal around too, and the family bonding seemed strong, a day after the 90-year-old fathe -figure stood unfazed after the shoe-hit.
The calm Badals never smiled, not even once, as Badal signed the nomination papers in the election office that was set up in a college building.
The rowing eyes of the securirty commandos were on an unusual alert , taking no chance, as Badal looked forward to the media after filing his nomination, as he said-- "certain elements do not want Punjab to live in peace". "There is a conspiracy of the radical elements to disturb peace in Punjab once again," he said, when asked about Wednesday's shoe hit incident.
On the shoe-thrower's argument that the culprits behind desecration of Guru Granth Sahib incidents were not caught and punished, Badal said- "the matter has been handed over to the CBI".
The chief minister parried away the query on the Justice Zora Singh Commission report that has not been made public so far. "Now the entire matter is with the CBI," said Badal, who had announced this commission to probe the sacrilege incidents and the Behbal Kalan police firing that led to the killing of two protesters.
The SSP, Muktsar had on Wednesday stated that the shoe thrower was "upset over the desecration" of the Sikhs' holy book.
For Sukhbir- "Kejriwal is having his breakfast meetings with the Khalistani elements, and there is a conspiracy to put Punjab again on the boil".
AWAY FROM LAMBI
The ruling SAD cadres in Lambi would, however, be deprived of the Badal's presence in the thick of election campaigning for the next 3 days, call it an aftermath of the Wednesday's shoe incident, or a pre-schedule.
Badal would be away from Lambi for 3 days, giving a boost to the campaigning of other party candidates, as one of the Badal's confidants deputed in Lambi informally declared to some journalists at a tea kiosk.
As the Akali stalwart left Malout, the buzz in the air remained in the town, with the enthusiastic cross-section of people discussing the state's political fate after the February 4 polling.