Sukhbir, 51, who is Punjab's deputy chief minister, was unanimously re-elected by 445 delegates of the Akali Dal who had assembled here at the Teja Singh Samundri hall at the Golden Temple complex of this Sikh holy city, 250 km from Chandigarh.
The re-election of Sukhbir, considered a mere formality in the Akali Dal circles, took place in the meeting presided over by his father and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, 85. The party delegates were from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra.
Sukhbir Singh had been elevated as the Akali Dal president in 2008 and later inducted in his father's government as deputy chief minister.
He is credited with leading the party to victories in assembly and other elections in Punjab. The Akali Dal returned to power in Punjab March 2012 for a second consecutive term. The feat, by any party returning to power for a second consecutive term, was unprecedented in the state in over 45 years.
Sukhbir Singh, who was educated in Lawrence School-Sanawar in Kasauli hills and got a MBA degree from the US, is a successful businessman with interests in 5-star hotels and resorts, media, agriculture and other fields.
He is known for running the Akali Dal, which earlier carried the image of being led by ageing leaders, in a corporate style.
His wife, Harsimrat Badal, is the Akali Dal MP from Bathinda in south-west Punjab.
--IANS (Posted on 03-09-2013)