SAD may go full throttle with jr Badal

SAD may go full throttle with jr Badal

Fearing loss of political turf, the SAD in Punjab is planning to put its best foot forward by fielding party president and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal from the Ferozpur seat.

The junior Badal's wife and Union minister Harsimran Kaur will be another contender in the poll fray from the Badal family.

In case the junior Badal, an MLA, chooses to throw the hat in the ring for general elections, it will be after a gap of two decades.

Even the Congress in the 2014 general elections, in an anticipated Modi wave, had put its best foot forward fearing the loss of ground in Punjab.

The party had then fielded Captain Amarinder Singh from Amritsar, a "BJP safe seat", against Arun Jaitley. The captain convincingly defeated Jaitley.

The SAD-BJP tally in Punjab is down to 5 out of a total of 13 seats. Sukhbir had lost the Lok Sabha poll in 1999 to a Congress candidate. The junior Badal was the Faridkot MP in 2004 and later decided to enter state politics.

Ferozpur seat is a traditional SAD bastion and the Akali Dal cannot afford to lose it. It has been secured by the party over the last many general elections. But the dynamics have now altered.

SAD's sitting MP in the Ferozpur seat has joined the Congress. Party sources said that feedback from party workers suggest that they would want Sukhbir to contest the upcoming elections from Ferozpur.

Sukhbir said he will lead from the front in case the party desires that he contest the general elections.

The SAD is ridden by a series of dissent and defections. Senior Akali Dal leaders, including former MPs and many who have been with the party for decades, have floated a new political outfit to challenge the Badal’s.

The splinter group of Akali Dal claims to be "the real SAD" and is fielding candidates in alliance on all 13 seats.