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Brothers' reunion on cards post Punjab polls

Gautam Dheer Chandigarh: Dec 8, 2012 21:18 IST
For Punjab’s former royal family’s estranged brothers — ex-chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and his younger brother Malwinder Singh — the post election scenario looks poised to reunite them.

Until the elections, the two royal scions — one of them the incumbent state Congress president and the other owing allegiance to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal — were at daggers drawn, opposing each other.

Close to a year after he quit the Congress party to join Badal’s SAD, Malwinder Singh now expresses “regret” over his decision. Sources said he is disgruntled about being denied his “due” by the Badals, although he joined the Akali Dal unconditionally.

Malwinder, who was instrumental in the defeat of Capt Amarinder’s son Raninder Singh from Samana constituency in the polls, said he regretted having ignored his elder brother’s advice against joining SAD.

Malwinder has minced no words in admitting that it was his folly to have ‘believed the Badals’. Despite his increasingly vocal stance against his newfound “mentors”, it still remains to be seen if he decides to quit the party or will be brought back to the Congress fold.

It’s hard for Amarinder and his wife Praneet Kaur, who is a Union minister in the Manmohan Singh’s cabinet, to accept the fact that Malwinder figured heavily in the debacle of their son Raninder.

Parliamentary elections, if take place at the right time in early 2014, are equally crucial for both the Congress and the SAD. Capt Amarinder Singh would then ideally want his brother by his side to avoid another inevitable showdown.

The same sentiments, it appears, are brewing between the estranged aged brothers of Punjab’s first family — chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Gurdass Badal — who fought against each other from different parties in the Assembly polls this year.

Chief minister and his brother Gurdass were seen together on the same cushioned seat at Wednesday’s World Cup Kabaddi match at Mukatsar in Punjab. He was quick to offer Gurdass a seat by his side as soon as he saw him coming. They also exchanged pleasantries, said sources.

Gurdass’s nephew and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal too was all smiles as both the brothers got cosy, perhaps like before.

After decades of heartfelt bonhomie, the two brothers split after Gurdass’s son Manpreet floated another party — People’s Party of Punjab — and fielded his father against his stalwart uncle. Badal won hands down, but the outcome and the run-up to the polls left them bitter. Chief minister said he loved his brother dearly, but their political affinities are varied.

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