Badal busy in forming 'shadow cabinet'

Chandigarh: With poll season at its high, Punjab's top political leader Parkash Singh Badal is in process of creating 'shadow cabinet' anticipating BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will get the coveted post after the Lok Sabha elections.

Five times Chief Minister of Punjab, Badal had pitched for BJP leader Arun Jaitley as future Deputy Prime Minister at a rally at Attari in Punjab and for Indian National Lok Dal leader Dushyant Chautala as among those to be accommodated in Modi's proposed cabinet.

Both Jaitley and Dishyant are contesting their maiden Lok Sabha elections.

In one of the big contest, Jaitley is facing Congress heavyweight Amarinder Singh from Amritsar Lok Sabha seat while Dushyant, son of jailed INLD leader Ajay Singh and grandson of former Chief minister Om Parkash Chautala, is also locked in a fierce battle against Haryana Janhit Congress stalwart Kuldeep Bishnoi and Congress candidate Sampat Singh from Hisar.

In a recent rally at Attari in Punjab, Badal had introduced Jaitley as a future Deputy Prime Minister. "If voted to power, he will be the Deputy Prime Minister or Finance Minister," Badal had said throwing his weight behind Jaitley.

Dushyant, an alumnus of Lawrence School, Sanawar, is facing an acid test and now banking on help from his uncle and other family members to reach out to voters.

26-year-old Dushyant is making his debut in the Lok Sabha elections at a time when he is faced with humongous task of reviving his party, founded by his great grandfather Devi Lal.

At a recent rally at Hisar in favour of Dushyant, Badal had said the INLD leader would be given ministerial berth at the Centre once he was elected as Member of Parliament.

"You elect Dushyant Chautala as Member of Parliament and I (Badal) will make him minister at the Centre. Chaudhary Devi Lal was my close friend and I see his image in Dushyant Chautala. He will be the youngest MP and youngest Union Minister," Badal had told a gathering at meeting while campaigning for Dushyant in Hisar.

While the SAD is a key ally of the BJP in Punjab and an important constituent of the NDA, in Haryana, the BJP is allied with Kuldeep Bishnoi-led HJC.

The INLD is fighting all the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana on its own after it failed to strike an alliance with the BJP. Octogenarian Badal is considered to be patriarch of politics in twin agrarian states of Punjab and Haryana.

Badal has been Chief Minister of Punjab since 2007 and previously remained on the coveted post from 1970 to 1971, from 1977 to 1980, and from 1997 to 2002. He was the president of the party from 1995 to 2008, when he was replaced by his son Sukhbir Singh Badal.

PTI
First Published: Wednesday, April 09, 2014, 15:39
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