Sour relations between Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh and SAD MLA Rajwinder Kaur Bhagike reached their nadir on Tuesday when the agriculture minister made a show of his political strength in Badhni Kalan, a town of Nihal Singh Wala assembly constituency of Bhagike.
To show his political might to his political bête noire in SAD, Tota Singh chose the occasion of his loyal Jagroop Singh Kussa taking charge of the office of the Market Committee of Badhni Kalan, much to the chagrin of Bhagike.
On the other hand, Bhagike, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member Jagraj Singh Daudhar and supporters of the MLA did not attend the function and also opposed it. The party sources revealed that both the supporters of these Akali leaders had never missed a chance to downplay each other when they got an opportunity.
Daudhar said, "Actually, our MLA was out of station on Tuesday. However, we did not receive any single invitation regarding today's function. Therefore, we have decided to arrange a separate function like this in the next few days."
Reliable sources revealed that actually this struggle for political supremacy had reached a flashpoint one month ago during the inauguration of the reverse osmosis (RO) system at Rauke Kalan village in Nihal Singh Wala constituency where Bhagike had not reached because residents of the village had invited Tota Singh as chief guest for this occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Tota Singh said that the ruling SAD-BJP alliance has been working jointly for long and will remain so in future as well.
"Newly-appointed chairman of Badhni Kalan Market Committee Jagroop Singh Kussa is a Taksali Akali worker and real Taksali workers are real wealth of the SAD. Many workers of my native area have been attached with me for the last 45 years and they helped the SAD during all agitations without any personal interest. It is my duty that I serve the SAD workers every time in Nihal Singh Wala," said Tota Singh.
Barjinder Singh Brar, chairman of the Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC) Sant Jagjit Singh Lopo, national vice-president of SAD Amarjit Kaur Sahoke, chairperson of zila parisha and former MLA Ajit Singh Shant also spoke on the occasion.