In 2012, when most people, including senior leaders of his own party, had written off the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal)-BJP alliance, one person ensured they bucked strong anti-incumbency to not just retain power in Punjab, but return with an improved tally.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and SAD (Badal) president Sukhbir Singh Badal now stares at the challenge ahead as he plots the combine’s campaign strategy for the 2017 assembly elections in the state. He has to contend with a resurgent Congress and a determined Aam Aadmi Party.
Aware these are intensely challenging days, Sukhbir Singh Badal and wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of Food Process and her party’s main voice inside Parliament, will interact with a select audience at the Express Adda in New Delhi Saturday.
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Straddling the world of power politics at the Centre and the state, the couple will be in conversation with The Indian Express National Opinion Editor Vandita Mishra and National Bureau Chief Maneesh Chhibber. They will talk about issues confronting Punjab, the terror attacks that are causing concern inside and outside the state, and how they are gearing for the assembly elections next year.
While Sukhbir Singh Badal has to fight off the Opposition and ensure that the alliance government delivers, especially in the run-up to 2017, Harsimrat Kaur Badal has to make her party voice heard in addition to her duties as a central minister.
The Express Adda is a series of unique, informed, informal interactions with people at the centre of change in our times.