28 October, 2020

Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab

The ‘son of Badal’ extends one of the oldest brands in our politics. His outspoken advocacy of Modi lends a degree of predictability to an unstable coalition era.

Illustration by Sorit
Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab

He is an American in a turban. He thinks big, fancies big cars and lives life kingsize, as you’d expect from one of Punjab’s wealthiest men. Badal Jr wears many hats: farmer, businessman, politician. Besides succumbing frequently to his global wanderlust, he makes light work of the weekly Chandigarh-Delhi short-hop to oversee interests that range over hospitality, transport, entertainment and exports. The last five years have witnessed the political maturing of 50-year-old Sukhbir. The son of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has slowly acquired the ken and swagger befitting the ‘Chief Executive Officer of Punjab’. Badal Sr is still the political face of the Akali Dal, but the generational shift is clear. It’s Sukhbir who runs the show. That means micro-managing elections, identifying rebels in rival parties, putting up dummies, buying up potential trouble-makers, handling the media.

He’s got a knack for it too. Having orchestrated the second consecutive assembly poll victory for the sad-BJP in 2011, don’t be surprised if he...



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