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Home > News > Report

After elections, I am jobless: Sukhbir Badal

Onkar Singh in Chandigarh | March 07, 2007 01:57 IST

'I am jobless' -- is what Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's son Sukhbir said during his first interaction with media persons in Chandigarh after his party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in the state.

The 44-year-old politician, who studied in the United States, spearheaded the campaign against former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh in the recently concluded assembly elections.

Sukhbir, the apparent heir, was at his best. He took special delight in running down his opponents and did not stop narrating his experiences while handling the media campaign during the campaign phase.

"We had to expose the Congress. I was leading the campaign from the front and now that we have won the elections, I feel jobless," he said.

When asked whether he will take over the mantle of the state midway through his father's tenure, he said: "Look I am not saying anything. It is for you people to calculate. At least, I would be in the limelight."

Sukhbir declared that there will be no political vendetta against the former chief minister and his colleagues, but if complaints are received they will certainly be looked into.

"Day in and day out, they will raid our places and show it on the television channels. They did not do anything in one go. But instead they prolonged our misery. It had a major impact on my daughter. Her friends would tell her that I was a thief. The child was heartbroken," he said, recalling the state vigilance raid, which he had claimed was carried out on the instructions of Amarinder and his son.

"What annoyed me more was the manner in which the ladies of the house were dragged into the controversy and complaints were registered against them. My father told Captain that he could file two more cases against us, but he should leave the ladies alone. He did not agree," Sukhbir said.

The SAD-BJP alliance may be back in power, but Badal is still trying to come to terms with the reality that Malwa, which was once an Akali stronghold, was the region where his party lost a majority of seats, and those who voted against the Akali candidates were rural peasants and workers.

Sukhbir finds nothing wrong in the appointment of four ministers from the Badal family on the ground that they are capable administrators and shrewd politicians.

He is believed to have already positioned his trusted men in key positions to muster support for him when the need arises. All he has to do is to keep the BJP in good humour and keep an eye on Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Captain Kanwaljit Singh -- senior Akali leaders of the state.