Bittu sworn in, Ludhiana gets 2nd Union minister after Tewari - Hindustan Times
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Bittu sworn in, Ludhiana gets 2nd Union minister after Tewari

By, Ludhiana
Jun 09, 2024 10:21 PM IST

Amit Shah, the then Union home minister, had promised that he would make his “friend” a “bada aadmi (renowned man)’ by including him in the council of ministers

Although three-time former MP Ravneet Singh Bittu tasted defeat in Lok Sabha elections, he said been inducted into the Union council of ministers. He is the second Ludhiana MP after Congress’ Manish Tewari to hold the position of a Union minister.

Ravneet Singh Bittu, who lost the Lok Sabha polls, has been inducted into Modi cabinet as Union minister of state. (HT File)
Ravneet Singh Bittu, who lost the Lok Sabha polls, has been inducted into Modi cabinet as Union minister of state. (HT File)

Amit Shah, the then Union home minister, had promised that he would make his “friend” a “bada aadmi (renowned man)’ by including him in the council of ministers. Bittu took oath as the state Union minister in New Delhi on Sunday.

Tewari served as Union state minister of information and technology from 2012 to 2014.

With Bittu’s induction, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gets a Sikh face from Punjab in the Union council of ministers. His induction comes as a double delight for Ludhiana BJP workers, who celebrated the third consecutive term of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister.

Bittu was the latest dynast to switch allegiances to the BJP, joining the saffron party in March this year, just ahead of the elections. Bittu lost to Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring by a margin of 20,942 votes in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Bittu is the grandson of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, who was assassinated on August 31, 1995, by the radical organisation Babbar Khalsa International, led by Wadhawa Singh. He joined politics at the age of 33.

The former MP was fielded from Sri Anandpur Sahib by the Congress in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and defeated Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, bagging a vote share of over 50%.

In the 2014 election, the Congress fielded him from Ludhiana after Manish Tewari had shown reluctance in contesting from the seat. Bittu polled over 3,00,000 votes (27.27%) and won from the seat. In 2019, he bagged the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat again, with 36.66% vote share. He was briefly appointed as leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha when Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary was busy in the West Bengal election campaign in 2021.

He faced criticism from Congress leaders after switching to the BJP, with the Warring referring to him as a “traitor” during his election campaign. Although Bittu performed well in the urban areas in the 2024 general elections and managed a huge lead from five assembly constituencies, he trailed in rural segments and lost the polls.

District BJP president Rajneesh Dhiman said that Ludhiana, especially the industry, would benefit from Bittu’s induction as Union minister.

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