Sahi to be BJP's 'secular' face in Punjab cabinet? | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Sahi to be BJP's 'secular' face in Punjab cabinet?

With the appointment of Bhagat Chunni Lal from Jalandhar as BJP legislature party leader springing a surprise in political circles, BJP high command is said to be considering Dasuha MLA Amarjit Singh Sahi, a Jat Sikh, for induction as minister in Punjab cabinet to project a "secular" face of the saffron party, it was learnt. Pargat was also likely to get the post of chief parliamentary secretary, attached to Sukhbir Badal.

punjab Updated: Mar 09, 2012 22:41 IST
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra

With the appointment of Bhagat Chunni Lal from Jalandhar as BJP legislature party leader coming as surprise in political circles, BJP high command is said to be considering Dasuya MLA Amarjit Singh Sahi, a Jat Sikh, for induction as minister in Punjab cabinet to project a "secular" face of the saffron party, it was learnt. Pargat was also likely to get the post of chief parliamentary secretary, attached to Sukhbir Badal.

Sahi, who defeated former Congress minister and four-time MLA Ramesh Chander Dogra for the second consecutive term, was the lone Sikh MLA in the party, that too from a rural seat.

Insiders believe that the appointment of Sahi as minister would give much-needed impetus to the BJP to enlarge its base amongst Sikhs, particularly in rural areas of the state.

The move is likely to give BJP a secular look in the current political scenario, wherein, its alliance partner SAD (Badal) had also fielded nine Hindu candidates in these elections, the insiders believe.

Sahi was the lone MLA from Hoshiarpur district, where BJP stalwarts Tikshan Sud lost the Hoshiarpur seat to Congress candidate Sunder Sham Arora by 6,308 votes and Arunesh Shakir lost Mukerian seat to a Congress rebel Rajneesh Kumar by 12,119 votes.

Olympian Pargat Singh, Jalandhar Cantt MLA and a close confidant of SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, is likely to get important responsibility in the alliance government owing to his managerial capabilities and sports background.

Pargat, during his tenure as director, sports department, had successfully hosted the World Kabaddi Cup and ensured distribution of gym equipment in rural areas to implement Sukhbir's policy on channeling the youth's energy in a positive manner.

"Pargat skillfully crafted his victory in just 22 days campaign. His honesty, dedication and leadership skills are being considered for handing over the responsibility. He is likely to be appointed as chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) attached to Sukhbir Badal," the sources said, adding that the youth has become main focus area of the coalition government.

Avinash Chander is likely to get ministerial berth, as he humbled former Congress minister Chaudhary Santokh Singh from Phillaur. An Ad-dharmi, Chander made headlines during the 2007 polls by defeating Congress stalwart Ch Jagjit Singh from Kartarpur.

Sarwan Singh Phillaur from Kartarpur was also tipped as a strong contender for ministership. After 2007 polls results, he was dropped from the list at the eleventh hour before swearing-in ceremony just to induct Sukhbir's brother-in-law Bikram Singh Majithia.