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The Badal-Kairon story in Punjab enters another chapter; between the lines lies Majithia

In the end, one brother-in-law had to give way to another.

Last week, after a slow and gradual eclipse in the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), during which he lost space to Bikram Singh Majithia, Adesh Partap Singh Kairon was expelled from the party. Adesh is married to SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal’s sister Parneet Kaur; Majithia is the brother of Sukhbir’s wife Harsimrat Kaur.

If the Badals are the first family of Punjab, the Kairons are a close second. Adesh’s grandfather was Punjab stalwart Partap Singh Kairon, who was a Congress leader and the chief minister of the state from 1956 to 1964. Adesh is himself a four-time MLA (1997-2017).

Ironically, the expulsion of Adesh comes just as Sukhbir has been recounting to voters during election rallies how his father, former CM Parkash Singh Badal, was jailed by the Congress government in the aftermath of 1984 and so could not attend Parneet’s wedding.

Putting his family’s long history in the Congress behind him, Adesh joined the SAD just before the 1997 Punjab Assembly elections. The SAD and BJP fought together in the first elections after militancy, and there was a wave for the Akali Dal. After Adesh won from Patti by more than 49,000 votes, he was made a Cabinet minister in his government by his father-in-law Parkash Badal – a decision that did not go down well with many SAD old-timers.

It was around this time that Sukhbir also entered electoral politics, becoming an MP in 1996. Two years later, he became a Union Minister of State in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led BJP government.

The marginalisation of Adesh began in the wake of the rise of Bikram Singh Majithia, Harsimrat’s brother, following the 2007 Assembly elections. Like Adesh, Majithia belongs to the Majha region. Coinciding

Read more on indianexpress.com