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A fine comeback, Harcharan Bains is now CM's advisor on national affairs

Harcharan Bains, the former media advisor to Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal, has been appointed as the CM's national affairs advisor.

chandigarh Updated: Jul 20, 2012 23:08 IST

Four months after he was unceremoniously denied a third innings as media adviser to Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Harcharan Bains has staged a comeback in the corridors of power, and that too with an elevated status.

The SAD-BJP government, on Friday, appointed Bains, 60, as the adviser on national affairs and media to Badal and accorded him the rank of minister of state. In his new assignment, Bains will also double up as media incharge for deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

A long-time Badal loyalist known for his literary erudition and perceptive writings on Punjab and Sikh politics, Bains has the rare honour of serving as media adviser to two chief ministers-Surjit Singh Barnala ( 1985-1987) and Badal (since 1997). He was an assistant professor of English literature at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, when Barnala handpicked him for the coveted job. In the mid-90s, Bains switched his loyalty to Badal and has since been his all-season speech writer-cum-media strategist.

After the historic second consecutive win of the SAD-BJP in the February assembly polls, Bains was left out in the cold. He was denied reappointment as media adviser to the chief minister reportedly at the instance of Sukhbir, who wasn't too pleased with Bains' performance. In fact, Bains' exit spurred the BJP to stake claim to the media adviser's job in the chief minister's office. Eventually, Badal prevailed and Sukhbir relented, paving the way for Bains' return for a bigger role.

Expressing his gratitude to both Badal and Sukhbir, Bains said: "This (my appointment) is a touching gesture of deep affection and great trust by both the chief minister and the deputy CM. I will do everything to deserve the confidence reposed in me."

First Published: Jul 20, 2012 22:12 IST