Badal In Race For Vice-President’s Post?

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CHANDIGARH – The name of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is doing the rounds as a potential candidate for the post of the Vice-President of India.

Sources in the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) said the party has not so far received any official communication from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to field Badal as the alliance nominee, but politicians in Punjab have started debating if he would be willing to shift base to Delhi.

Those who think that the five-time Chief Minister of Punjab will not say no, if made an offer, feel so mainly because it will result in a very smooth transfer of power from father to son in Punjab.

If Badal moves to Delhi, SAD president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, the heir apparent, will be the natural choice for handing over reigns of the Punjab Cabinet. In fact, there are unconfirmed reports that Sukhbir Badal is hob-knobbing with the NDA leadership to explore the possibility of a role for his father in Delhi.

There is also a talk about how Badal’s name was first considered for the post of the President of the country, but the allies of SAD did not think it would be a good idea to have Sikhs as the President, the Prime Minister and the Army Chief, all at the same time. So Badal’s name was dropped from being a contender for the post of the President to that of the Vice-President. Sukhbir Badal told The Tribune that the media was indulging in kite flying; there was nothing concrete on the issue at this stage. “Recall how everyone repeatedly said during the last term of the SAD-BJP government that Sukhbir would be the Chief Minister next week and I am still the Deputy Chief Minister two years later.” He said the NDA leadership would take a decision in that regard and the SAD, a member of the alliance, would be bound by whatever was decided.