Another son’s rise on the political horizon of Punjab seems almost imminent as the old Akali war horse, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura is keeping himself busy touring villages of the Khadoor Sahib assembly segment these days and telling people that they should get ready as a by-election is at hand.
The reasons for these spirited activities are quite obvious as Brahmapura, who represents the Khadoor Sahib parliamentary constituency, wants the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP alliance to field his son Ravinder Singh Brahmpura for the Khadoor Sahib bypoll. The junior Brahmpura is the SAD’s halqa in-charge of this assembly segment.
The assembly seat fell vacant after Congress MLA Ramanjit Singh Sikki resigned from the assembly in protest against sacrilege of holy ‘bir’ of Guru Granth Sahib at Baath, a village that falls in the Khadoor Sahib assembly constituency.
The elder Brahmpura has already sent out enough hints that he is keen to field his son for the bypoll and may not tolerate any other Akali candidate. At the party’s political conference in Khadoor Sahib town in October on the occasion of the ‘Gurgaddi Diwas’ of Guru Angad Dev, it was the junior Brahmpura who occupied centre stage and conducted the proceedings of the conference in which chief minister
Parkash Singh Badal was also present.
Politics is not new to Ravinder, as he has always been by his father’s side, spearheading the campaign in the last three assembly polls and the Lok Sabha election last year. He is also the chairman of the district planning committee of Tarn Taran district and distributes grants for various development works in villages.
In fact, the distribution of grants from his father’s MPLADS fund is done by him and most of the funds have gone to the Khadoor Sahib assembly segment.
Not just the Brahmpuras but even the chief minister seems to have set his eyes on the bypoll. He chose the Khadoor Sahib assembly segment for the re-launch of the ‘sangat darshan’ programmes after a gap of over three months. The chief minister conducted around a dozen ‘sangat darshan’ programmes, distributing grants and listening to grievances.
All through the ‘sangat darshan’ programmes, the elder Brahmpura was by the CM’s side. The chief minister places a great deal of trust in the Khadoor Sahib MP and never hesitates in taking his advice. When Brahmpura lost from the Khadoor Sahib assembly segment in the 2012 elections, the chief minister picked him for fighting the Lok Sabha elections last year.
All through the ‘sangat darshan’ programmes of the CM, Ravinder remained active, coordinating the activities on the stage as well as ensuring that the grievances of the people were heard by Badal.
The importance that the CM attaches to the bypoll can be gauged from the fact that SAD shifted its last Sadbhawna rally on December 14 from Amritsar to Goindwal Sahib, which is situated in the Khadoor Sahib assembly segment.
Other than Ravinder, there are a number of Akali leaders of the area who are keen to contest the Khadoor Sahib bypoll. Among these are Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke, former acting president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Tarn Taran district president of SAD and member of SGPC.