Despite having won with a thumping majority in the parliamentary elections, popularity graph of Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu has nosedived as he has become the centre of various controversies in the recent past.
After taking a stand for PCC president Partap Singh Bajwa, Bittu was in the firing line of Capt Amarinder Singh’s supporters and the recent confrontation with another Congressman over financial matters was an added embarrassment for the MP.
The latest being an open letter written by former vice-president of District Congress Committee Maninder Pal Singh to Bittu questioning him about his missing official or residential address at Ludhiana. Singh also questioned the MP as to why he had failed to distribute even a single cheque from his MPLAD fund.
The opening lines of the letter are “satirical” as Maninder has apologised for writing an open letter, citing “missing postal address” to be the reason. “Bittu ji, when shall we expect a permanent address of yours in Ludhiana?” reads a line from his open letter. Not just that, Singh, while representing Ludhiana residents, who voted for Bittu, has taken a direct shot at him by asking him the reason for his “non-accessibility” for the residents. “Why is your mobile always switched off ? Why does the room, allotted to you at minisecretariat remains locked all the time?” questioned Maninder.
Interestingly, Singh has also made a reference to the hype created by his supporters over 188 questions raised by Bittu in the parliament in his one-year tenure till now, but the buzz in the Ludhiana Congress is “how many of them were or will be addressed/implemented?”
A senior Congress person, while referring to Maninder’s open letter, said, “This was destined, as knowing Bittu’s repute in Anandpur Sahib (his old constituency) we knew he will not address a single issue in Ludhiana.”
Bittu has been inseparable from MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu ever since he won the polls, which has earned him negative publicity, where senior Congress workers and leaders in Ludhiana are concerned. While others prefer to sit and sulk, former DCC vice-president through his open letter confronted Bittu, challenging him to deny that he promoted “factionalism” in the Congress.
“Also, you are answerable to the people in all the assembly segments falling under your parliamentary seat and not just Jagraon, Ludhiana West, Ludhiana Central. So much so is the discrimination that people in Dakha, Gill, Ludhiana South and Ludhiana East have even forgotten your face,” pointed out Singh.
During elections, Bittu was operating from a makeshift office in a commercial building at Sat Paul Mittal Road. But he had failed to find a house for himself ever since and the office that he had taken in the mini-secretariat is always locked.