Badal, Sukhbir to contest from present seats in assembly polls

Chandigarh, Jan 5 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal will be contesting from their present constituencies in next month’s assembly elections, the Akali Dal announced on Thursday.

Ending speculation of the past few weeks that he could change his assembly seat, the party said that Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the party President, will contest from Jalalabad assembly seat, which he currently holds.

The elder Badal will contest his traditional assembly seat of Lambi, Akali Dal spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said on Thursday.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is posing a challenge to the Akali Dal and Congress in Punjab in the assembly polls, has already announced the name of Sangrur MP, comedian-turned-politician Bhagwant Mann, to take on Sukhbir Badal from the Jalalabad seat.

It has fielded Delhi lawmaker Jarnail Singh, who shot into limelight when he hurled a shoe towards the then Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi in April 2009 to protest against clean chit given to Congress leaders by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, against the Chief Minister in Lambi.

Elections to 117 assembly seats in Punjab are to be held on February 4. Counting of votes will take place on March 11.

The Akali Dal, along with alliance partner BJP, has been in power in Punjab since 2007.