Former state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa and Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans, who recently dumped the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to join the Congress, have been finalised as party’s Rajya Sabha candidates from Punjab.
Though it was almost certain that Bajwa would be “adjusted” for accepting party high command’s directive to make way for Captain Amarinder Singh’s appointment as the Punjab Congress chief, the name of Hans Raj Hans has come as a surprise for many.
Hans, who projects himself a Balmiki (Dalit) leader, had joined the Congress in presence of Amarinder nearly three weeks ago (February 20). Considered an “outsider” in Congress, Hans, who doesn’t have a mass base among the Dalit community, has been picked by the party high command, virtually ignoring its prominent Dalit faces, including Shamsher Singh Dullo, Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Raj Kumar Verka and Santosh Chaudhary, in the state.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) sources said both names were final and a formal announcement is likely to be made any time soon. The Rajya Sabha polls are slated for March 21.
“It was my dream to sit in Parliament. I don’t have any words to express my happiness. I’m really grateful to Amarinder Singh,” said Hans, while talking to HT.
He said the SAD had betrayed him and the Congress’ move to send him to Parliament was not only a great honour for him but for the entire Balmiki Samaj of Punjab. Political pundits opine that Captain’s move is aimed at aimed at wooing the Balmiki community that has a considerable presence across Doaba.