Even after being removed as chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) on Tuesday, Inderbir Singh Bolaria, the SAD MLA from Amritsar South has no immediate plans of quitting the party.
Bolaria was the only CPS to be removed as chief minister Parkash Singh Badal elevated seven MLAs belonging to the SAD and BJP as CPSes, taking their strength to 25. Bolaria was among the first batch of 19 MLAs elevated as CPSes after the 2012 assembly polls.
“I don’t intend to quit the party,” he said when HT wanted to know his reaction. He said he was busy in a family function and would react at a press conference in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Removal as YAD Majha president
Once a close confidant of revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, Bolaria was appointed the Majha zone president of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD) when SAD chief and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal decided to revamp the youth wing by appointing separate presidents for the three zones in 2013. It was owing to his closeness to Majithia that Bolaria was earlier made the CPS.
He had assumed charge as YAD chief (Majha) amid fanfare with Majithia himself leading the road show in Amritsar. However, a year later, Bolaria was removed from the post following his differences with SAD leaders, especially Majithia.
Initially, the differences between the two were termed as “personal”, but with no efforts being made to clear the air, the gap between the two widened. Local Akali leaders, particularly those eyeing the Amritsar South assembly seat for the 2017 assembly election, were happy that the party had decided to sideline Bolaria, who was once the most important Akali leader in the district after Majithia.
Navdeep Singh Goldie, a Congressman who had joined the SAD during the 2014 Lok Sabha election, and Gurpartap Singh Tikka saw this as an opportunity to cosy up to Majithia and Sukhbir. The two are now among the frontrunners for the SAD ticket from Amritsar South in case the party decides to dump Bolaria, which now looks a possibility.
The gap between the SAD MLA and the Akali leadership further widened after Bolaria questioned Sukhbir’s decision to locate the solid waste management plant at Bhagtanwala, an area in Bolaria’s constituency. He sat on dharnas with the locals who wanted the plant to be shifted to the outskirts as it could prove an environmental hazard. No one from the SAD came out to support Bolaria on this though some of the issues he raised were genuine.
As local Akali leaders distanced themselves from him, Bolaria decided to come close to food and supplies minister Adaish Partap Singh Kairon, the son-in-law of the chief minister, who is not on good terms with Majithia. Kairon told his department officials to ensure that maximum eligible families of Amritsar South were covered under the atta-dal scheme.
There have been reports that Bolaria may join the Congress, but at this stage he is not likely to risk losing his assembly seat.