The family of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has been dominating from the Gidderbaha constituency since much before the birth of current MLA Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, who on Thursday was appointed the Youth Congress president.
The 37-year-old Warring had won the prestigious seat in the 2012 Punjab assembly elections to emerge as the youngest MLA in the current assembly.
Till then, Gidderbaha, a small town in Muktsar district, was known only for Badal family’s dominance in politics or for Punjabi singer Gurdas Mann. Warring defeated four-time local MLA Manpreet Singh Badal to end almost 40-year-old political domination of the Badals. The chief minister had also represented Gidderbaha constituency in the state assembly before Manpreet.
Given the Gidderbaha ticket against the wishes of then state Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh, Warring was abandoned even by his political mentor Jagmeet Singh Brar during the campaign, when local party leaders decided to support Congressman-turned Akali Sant Singh Brar.
Setbacks were nothing new for Warring who had lost his parents at an early age and was brought up by his maternal grandfather Harnek Singh Brar. He also remained active in university politics.
When local party leaders abandoned him during the 2012 assembly elections, only Rahul Gandhi campaigned on the last day for Warring, who won the election by an impressive 15,000 votes. Manpreet Badal had finished third.
Warring not only ended Badals’ stranglehold in Gidderbaha but also planned several protests against the ruling family in the constituency, something hitherto considered unthinkable.
The new MLA made headlines as he took on chief minister Badal at his sangat darshan in the constituency in 2013 and heavy police force had to be deployed to keep him at bay.
But Warring always found novel ways of protest – whether it was worshipping foundation stones or using a cart to lampoon the empty coffers of the state.
Amid allegations of irregularities in the block samiti and zila parishad elections against the ruling party in 2013, it was only from Gidderbaha that no SAD candidate won unopposed. The Congress won two seats in the constituency without opening its account in rest of Muktsar district.
Of late, the Mansa police tried to corner Warring for his alleged relations with drug peddlers, but they could not go beyond levelling the allegations.