Springing a surprise, Punjab revenue minister and Youth Akali Dal (YAD) chief Bikram Singh Majithia on Friday announced that he no longer wanted to continue as president of the youth wing of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
A high-profile minister in the Parkash Singh Badal government, Majithia, also the brother-in-law of deputy CM and SAD chief Sukhbir Badal, said he had conveyed to the CM and the SAD chief recently that he should be relinquished of the charge of YAD chief.
Talking to reporters after the concluding ceremony of the state rifle championship, where he was the chief guest, he said, “I have served for more than four years as the YAD chief. I’m also the president of the Punjab Rifle Shooting Association. I don’t want too many ‘presidentships’.”
“Also, because of my increasing age, I sincerely feel someone else should hold the YAD chief’s post now,” he added.
Majithia, 38, has largely stayed away from Punjab politics in recent months following the SAD’s below-par performance in the Lok Sabha polls.
Majithia took charge of the YAD in December 2010. The SAD’s youth wing played a key role in ensuring a second successive term for the SAD-BJP government. However, his tenure has been mired in controversy, with YAD leaders allegedly getting involved in one crime or the other. The party also faced embarrassment after a few YAD leaders’ names cropped up during the Punjab police’s investigations into drug smuggling.
Majithia also suggested that a grassroots worker should be elected as the new YAD president.Later, Jangveer Singh, media adviser to the deputy CM, issued a telephonic clarification on behalf of Majithia. “After becoming the SAD chief for the second time, party president Sukhbir Badal has not yet formed the new YAD. So, there is no question of resigning from any YAD post. Majithia saab has only said that he has requested the CM and the party president not to give this post to him,” said Jangveer.