Old guard gone, Punjab politics sees a generational shift : The Tribune India

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Old guard gone, Punjab politics sees a generational shift

Old guard gone, Punjab politics sees a generational shift

SAD candidate Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Sukhbir Badal at a rally in Talwandi Sabo. Tribune file



Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, May 15

The 2024 General Election in Punjab is witnessing a generational shift. The old guard in the traditional parties is gone and new “young” leaders are leading the charge.

Akali stalwart Parkash Singh Badal is no more. Former Congress CM Capt Amarinder Singh, who joined the BJP, is not politically active. In the BJP, veteran leader Madan Mohan Mittal, who had quit the saffron party to join Shiromani Akali Dal, is also not active politically. Vijay Sampla is not campaigning for the party’s Hoshiarpur candidate, though he is active in Ludhiana. This shows a complete generational shift in Punjab politics. The absence of two political veterans, both former CMs who have been fierce political rivals in their entire political career, is very much noticeable.

Their style of campaigning — the very personal touch of Badal senior while seeking votes and the aggressive style of Capt Amarinder — is being missed in this election. The saffron party, some say, has “extinguished” its old leadership and imported new leadership from Congress and Akali Dal. Another Akali veteran Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, too, has so far remained politically inactive after he re-joined Akali Dal along with his son Parminder Singh Dhindsa.

Interestingly, this is the second time in over three decades when the state has seen a generational shift in its politics. In the 1992 Vidhan Sabha elections, when terrorism was at its peak, senior leaders of the Congress had not participated in the elections because of the boycott call given by militants. That led to a shift in the leadership.

Political analyst Dr Parmod Kumar, while talking to The Tribune, said the major generational shift now is in SAD, where the reins are now in the hands of Sukhbir Singh Badal. “Akalis survived the generational shift in 1992 by boycotting the elections and they are witnessing it now. In Congress, there is a mobility in leadership, with many of its leaders jumping the ship,” he said.

Another political observer and sociologist Prof Manjit Singh, too, agrees with Dr Kumar about the shift in Akali Dal and BJP, but says there is break and continuity in Congress with several old leaders like Partap Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Randhawa and Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa still holding sway in the party.

Stalwarts inactive

  • Akali stalwart Parkash Singh Badal is no more
  • Former Congress CM Capt Amarinder Singh, who joined the BJP, is not politically active
  • Vijay Sampla is not campaigning for the party’s Hoshiarpur candidate
  • Another Akali veteran Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, too, has so far remained politically inactive

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Congress #Parkash Singh Badal


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