Just ahead of the assembly polls, the grand old man of Punjab politics and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patriarch, Parkash Singh Badal, 94, on Wednesday tested positive for the Covid-19.
He was admitted to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) in Ludhiana. DMCH Medical Superintendent Sandeep Sharma told the media that Badal's condition is stable.
Just weeks ahead of the polls, Badal senior has been touring his Lambi constituency in Muktsar district.
His son and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal speaking about his health said, "He is currently fine, had a mild fever. We hospitalized him as a precautionary measure."
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal yesterday said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had fallen back on compromised candidate Bhagwant Mann as no one was ready to lead the party in Punjab.
Terming the nomination of Mann as a stage managed non-event, the SAD President said AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal never wanted to make Mann the face of the party in Punjab.
"AAP has led a very public campaign urging Punjabis to repose their trust in Kejriwal since more than one year. During this same period Kejriwal has asserted that Mann is not capable of holding this post.
"Now when AAP has exhausted all options and chosen Mann to lead the party in Punjab, it needs to explain why Punjabis should trust a leader who Kejriwal refused to endorse for more than one year. Kejriwal cannot take Punjabis to be so naive as to approve his rubber stamped candidate.
"They need strong and decisive leadership as well a leader with a proven track record of conducting swift development as well as ensuring law and order and peace and communal harmony in this border state. Mann does not fit this bill," Sukhbir Badal added.
(with agency inputs)