All the Badals, led by five-time Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the eldest candidate at 94 in fray for the 117-member Punjab Assembly, as well as their kin, on Thursday lost to AAP’s greenhorns.
The eldest Badal, who won the seat five times in a row since 1997, lost to Gurmeet Khuddian from Lambi by 11,357 votes, while his son and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief and Member of Parliament Sukhbir Badal faced humiliating defeat from Jalalabad, and his son-in-law Adesh Partap Singh Kairon faced defeat from Patti in Tarn Taran district from AAP’s Laljit Singh Bhullar.
Sukhbir Badals’s brother-in-law Bikram Majithia and his estranged cousin Manpreet Badal, who was in the fray on a Congress ticket, also lost the poll from their respective seats.
As per the Election Commission, AAP’s Khuddian, a Congress rebel, was polled 65,717 votes and the elderly Badal got 54,360.
The junior Badal has lost the elections by a margin of 23,310 votes from Jalalabad to AAP’s Jagdeep Kamboj.
Majithia, who was in the fray from Amritsar (East) seat, took the third spot, with 25,112 votes. His archrival and state Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu also suffered a loss in his seat, garnering only 32,807 votes.
Both senior leaders were defeated by AAP’s novice Jeevan Jyot Kaur, who received 39,520 votes.
A five-time MLA and two-time Finance Minister, Manpreet Badal, who is the son of Gurdas Badal, the younger brother of Parkash Badal, lost the elections from Bathinda Urban.
He first won in 1995 on a SAD ticket from Gidderbaha and retained the seat in 1997, 2002, and 2007. He quit the party in 2010 and floated his own political outfit, People’s Party of Punjab.
In 2016, Manpreet Badal merged his outfit with the Congress, after having lost from both Gidderbha and Maur seats. He then won the 2017 elections as a Congress candidate from Bathinda.
“We whole-heartedly and with total humility accept the mandate given by Punjabis. I am grateful to lakhs of Punjabis who placed their trust in us and to SAD-BSP workers for their selfless toil. We will continue to serve them with humility in the role they have assigned to us,” Sukhbir Badal tweeted.
AAP’s chief ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann in his first public address after his victory said: “Bade (elderly) Badal Sahib has lost, Sukhbir (Badal) has lost from Jalalabad, Capt (Amarinder Singh) has lost from Patiala, Sidhu and Majithia are also losing, Channi has lost on both the seats.”
Congress firebrand legislator Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, who retained his Gidderbaha constituency in Muktsar district, said he has been saying that all Badals, including Congress’s Manpreet Singh Badal, were playing a fixed match.
He said he had even asked the electorates to defeat all Badals, including his colleague, from wherever they are contesting.
“This is a message for the Badals, all the Badals, a message for Bathinda wala Badal (Manpreet Badal) and Lambi wala Badal (Parkash Singh Badal), they are playing a fixed match. In Bathinda, they are with the Congress and here they are Akalis. Such traitors should be exposed,” he had said during campaigning.
However, Sukhbir Badal had been categorically saying the Badal family had no connections with Manpreet Badal and the party’s interests were supreme to them. Even Manpreet Badal had clarified that he had ended all his family ties with the Badal family 11 years ago.
Snapping over two-decade long ties, the Akali Dal pulled out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in September 2020 after sharp differences emerged over the three controversial farm laws.
The Congress, which was out of power in Punjab for a decade (2007-17), got 77 seats in the 2017 Assembly elections after drubbing the Akali Dal-BJP combine.
At that time, the elder Badal had won the Assembly elections from Lambi by defeating Congress candidate Amarinder Singh by 22,770 votes.