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SAD show: Angry voters rejected Akalis reliance on clan

The clan and coterie was on the forefront of decade-long rule of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab.

assembly elections Updated: Mar 12, 2017 12:07 IST
Pawan Sharma
Pawan Sharma
Hindustan Times
SAD,Akalis,Shiromani Akali Dal
Outgoing Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal at Badal village on Saturday.(Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)

The clan and coterie was on the forefront of decade-long rule of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab.

This pedigree was at the core of SAD’s ambitious decision to position 26 candidates from the clan of SAD stalwarts for the February 4 assembly poll battle.

As the stunning verdict unfolded on Saturday, as many as 19 kin had to lick the dust with angry voters giving a sound hammering to the SAD, which won 15 of the 94 seats it had contested in what was a fiercely-fought battle to rule Punjab.

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Just seven candidates hailing from different clans of the Akali leaders led by the outgoing chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia—brother of Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal—managed to retain or win their seats.

Captain Amarinder Singh celebrating his victory in Chandigarh on Saturday. (Sanjeev Sharma/HT Photo)

Among others who pulled through are Gurpartap Singh Wadala (Nakodar), son of SAD stalwart Kuldeep S Wadala; Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra, son of Anandpur Sahib MP Prem Singh Chandumajra; Parminder Singh Dhindsa, finance minister and son of MP SS Dhindsa; and Dilraj Singh Bhunder, son of Balwinder Singh Bhunder, MP Rajya Sabha.

In 2012, the party had fielded all-time high 28 political kin, and 15 of them had entered the Vidhan Sabha.

All the son-in-laws in the fray, including Yuvraj Bhupinder Singh (Bolath), justice Nirmal Singh (retd, Chamkaur Sahib) and Sr Badal’s son-in-law Adaish Partap Singh Kairon (Patti) suffered humiliating defeats.

Both father-son duo of agriculture minister Tota Singh and his son Barjinder Singh Brar were humbled.

Also, to keep the flame of his political legacy intact, speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal opted out and fielded his son Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal from Raikot, who was relegated to third position.

This please-all balancing act is one of the multiple key factors behind the worst-ever debacle of the Akalis.

First Published: Mar 12, 2017 12:01 IST