People's Party of Punjab (PPP) chief spokesperson Bir Devinder Singh, 63, submitted his resignation from the party membership on Tuesday, a day after he slammed the "autocratic" style of functioning of party president Manpreet Singh Badal. With this move, Bir Devinder has again lived up to his 'turncoat' tag.
In his two-page resignation letter sent to Manpreet, former Punjab deputy speaker Bir Devinder said, "Under the circumstances, it would not be appropriate for me to continue as such after your remarkable discovery pertaining to my shelf life and scathing and insalubrious censure. You are free to appoint any other person in my place but kindly make sure about his befitting shelf life, durable to be parked in your shelf."
He further said, "My dear Manpreet, if you could recall, I politely declined your offer to contest from Mohali on the PPP ticket. I was reluctant to contest as I was not in touch with the constituency. You again called me and sought my consent, to which I responded affirmatively… I contested the election with my own moderate resources in the absence of even logistic support from the party. I did not even ask for a single penny from the PPP. I need not mention that we all lost the elections, rather you lost from both places you contested."
Bir Devinder, who has remained an MLA twice, said he had endorsed Manpreet's leadership despite the fact that he was far more senior and experienced in all spheres of public life spanning more than 40 years.
"You are still a non-starter from that point of view. I am not in politics by virtue of a feudal family tag. I am there because of consistent and endless struggle… better not be judgmental, but just for your information, I was in jail suffering solitary confinement for more than 19 months during the period of Emergency from 1975 to 1977. Where were you at that point of time? Must be in Doon School, Dehradun. We fought militancy for more than 10 years and suffered immensely. Terrorists targeted me several times. I survived all those attempts on my life. By the way, where were you during the dark period of militancy in Punjab? Must be either in England or US, playing it safe. If you have some spare time, come and visit me, I will take you to the archives of my sufferings in the past and I hope that would reveal you the truth of my real shelf life".
Doing a U-turn, PPP patron Sardara Singh Johl said on Tuesday, "There is no disillusionment on my part. I have never said that Manpreet is autocratic. Let me make it clear that I am with the party wholeheartedly and will remain with it. However, I will not hesitate from expressing my views in the interests of the party, whether these are liked or not or whether these are accepted or not within the party. After all, it is a democratic party." On Monday, Johl had said that he agreed to some extent with Bir Devinder that Manpreet's style of functioning was "autocratic".
When asked about his future plans, Bir Devinder said, "I will reveal my plans at the right time."