He virtually stole the show with workers friendly gestures during his maiden rally, after assuming charge of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president, here on Sunday.
Midway of the impressive rally at Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here, Gurdaspur MP and PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa suddenly alighted from the dais that was full of Congress leaders from across Doaba region and preferred to share the seat with the party workers on the ground. His security personnel went into tizzy and tried to cordon him with a cover but he quipped that he did not have any threat to life and was comfortable sitting with the workers.
The Congress leaders on dais too were surprised on sudden development. Earlier, the local Congress leaders were jostling with each other to get their photo clicked with Bajwa, who got infuriated over leaders’ failure to maintain discipline on the stage. Such was a situation that Bajwa’s younger brother state general secretary and stage secretary Fateh Jang made several appeals from the public address system to get "photo sessions" stopped, but to no avail. Sources said local leader Satnam Singh Bitta had an argument with former MLA Jagbir Brar, thus, forcing Bajwa to leave the stage for sitting with the workers instead.
The Congress workers including former councilor Sardari Lal, sitting besides Bajwa, were however seen amused since it was for the first time ever since normalcy returned to the state in nineties that a state Congress president shared seat with the workers. The state presidents usually remained under security cover since the days of terrorism. It is pertinent to mention here that Bajwa’s father, a senior Congress leader, Satnam Singh was also gunned down by terrorists.
"I am better placed with my colleagues here. The workers are the real strength of the party. It’s nice to listen to their views. We need to pay due respect to them," Bajwa told Hindustan Times.
On being invited back on stage to deliver his concluding address, Bajwa was quick to make his anger about indiscipline leaders public. "Indiscipline was one of the reasons for our last assembly elections defeat. Those brought workers are quietly sitting on ground while majority of single leaders are capturing the dais. Sitting down on the ground doesn’t mean that leader’s contribution is not being acknowledged,” he quipped, warning the stage people to ensure discipline in no uncertain terms. Bajwa, was,
An aggressive Bajwa was later seen aggressively targeting Badals for withdrawing free education facility for girl students from Class 9 to 12, hike in power tariff, failure to provide Rs 1000 per month unemployment allowance and Rs 10000 per year to sportspersons, hike in bus fare and hospital charges. He showed Akali Dal manifesto to remind deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal of his failures on promises including starting metro trains in Ludhiana and Jalandhar, making Punjab power surplus state making Jalandhar a sports hub and making efforts to depoliticize the police force.
Concluding his address, Bajwa made another gesture by inviting the workers to have lunch with him. Majority of leaders preferred to leave the venue, but Bajwa stayed back and shared "poori-cholle" as meals with workers. Political observers believed Bajwa managed to strike a direct rapport with the workers, who had been facing disillusionment since long, by making them believe that "he is one of them".