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Badal, who at 89 was the oldest chief minister in country, was on way out on Saturday after his SAD clocked it worst-ever tally of 15 in the member Punjab assembly. Badal can, however, draw some consolation from his win over Amarinder from his stronghold Lambi, which he retained by a margin of more than 22, votes.

Parkash Singh Badal, once the...

Amarinder, who won from Patiala, finished a poor third in the race. Badal led several morchas protest movements over issues facing the state and Sikhs but never adopted an anti-Hindu or anti-India stance even when Sikh insurgency was at its peak, Kumar said.

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In fact, Badal, who partnered the Jan Sangh four times, is one of the oldest allies of the BJP, a partnership in its twentieth year. Badal, an time MLA, transformed the panthic party, with focus firmly on Sikhs, into a Punjabi party that fielded 11 Hindus in the polls.

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Starting out as a sarpanch -- he was youngest to be elected to that office in Punjab -- Badal support base were farmers or the Jat Sikhs to whom he gave a slew of subsidies, including free power. A shrewd politician, he also wooed the Dalits, who account for But the largesse made both the peasantry and the Dalits dependent on doles. The green revolution had run its course but Badal failed to diversify.

Though the Satluj Yamuna Link canal has been a stumbling block for 34 years, Badal did little to resolve it. Charges of corruption and widespread drug abuse in the state ultimately led to his downfall.

The Akalis lost because Badal centralised power and decentralised terror, he said, referring to the party halka assembly segment in-charges, who were hand-picked by Sukhbir and became a law unto themselves. Above all, Punjab declined under Badal, who had showed immense promise when he introduced Adarsh schools and industrial focal points. Once among the five richest states of the country, Punjab now ranks 12th on the basis of gross domestic product.

Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal with...

The discontent against the Badal government can be gauged from the fact that Punjab saw 25, protests, the highest in country, between torecords of the Bureau of Police Research and Development show.

Badal has been a survivor. That he will live on in the history of Punjab is a given.