Not only did SAD chairman and Ferozepur MP Sukhbir Singh Badal lose his traditional Jalalabad assembly constituency, but also his father and party boss Parkash Singh Badal got to taste Lambi’s defeat. The centenary regional festival was in competition on 97 assembly segments. Sukhbir lost to AAP’s Jagdeep Kamboj by a margin of 30,930 votes.
The three SAD leaders who held the party flag in this election amid the AAP sweep are: Manpreet Singh Ayali in Dakha, Dr. Sukhwinder Kumar Sukhi in Banga and Ganieve Kaur Majithia in Majitha. SAD’s alliance partner – Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) – was only able to win the Nawanshahr constituency from where Dr Nachhatar Pal defeated his nearest rival Lalit Mohan Ballu of AAP. The BSP contested 20 assembly segments and party chairman Jasvir Singh Garhi also lost to Phagwara.
The 2022 State Assembly polls were a litmus test of the leadership and micro-management qualities of 59-year-old SAD President Sukhbir, as this time his father and five-time Chief Minister Badal (94) had a role largely limited to small public appearances. to his own Lambi assembly segment due to his advanced age and the Covid-19 pandemic. Senior Badal – the oldest in the country to stand in the National Assembly elections – lost his Lambi seat this time to Gurmeet Singh Khudian of the AAP by a margin of 11,396 votes. Till date, Badal had only lost state assembly election in 1967. He had won 11 state assembly elections and one Lok Sabha election. Senior Badal’s son-in-law Adesh Partap Singh Kairon also lost out of Patti constituency by a margin of almost 11,000 votes against AAP’s Laljit Singh Bhullar.
Sukhbir’s brother-in-law (his wife’s brother) Bikram Singh Majithia, who was Majitha’s party MP and currently housed in Patiala prison as a sub-trial in a drug-related case, did not neither managed to win in East Amritsar constituency where AAP candidate Jeevan Jyot Kaur registered victory. Majithia’s wife and a greenhorn Ganieve Kaur is the only one to win her first election in Majitha’s extended family constituency beating AAP’s Sukhjinder Raj Singh (Lalli) by 26,062 votes.
Best performance in 1997
SAD’s best showing came in 1997, when it won 75 seats in the State Assembly polls and garnered 37.64 percent of the vote. Prior to this election, the Akali Dal had to suffer the worst defeat in its history in the 2017 Punjab parliamentary elections when it was ousted from power after a decade and was only able to win 15 of the 94 contested constituencies in the total in alliance with the BJP. The SAD had contested the 2017 National Assembly elections in alliance with the BJP and the saffron party was then only able to win three of the total 23 seats it contested.
The SAD had decided to break its 24-year-old ‘nauh mass da rishta’ (relation between nail and flesh) with the BJP on September 26, 2020, after facing farmers’ anger over the three laws controversial agricultural centrals. Subsequently, the SAD decided to forge an alliance with the Mayawati-led BSP after 25 years on June 12, 2021, keeping tabs on the predicted caste votes accounting for over 32% of the total votes in Punjab.