Congress appoints Ramanjit Sikki as ‘halqa in-charge’ of Sukhpal Khaira’s home turf
Khadoor Sahib MLA, who is ‘missing’ from his own constituency, has been asked to revive party in BholathUpdated: Sep 03, 2017 20:34 IST
Allegedly ‘missing’ from his own constituency Khadoor Sahib in Tarn Taran district, Congress MLA Ramanjit Singh Sikki has been appointed as ‘halqa in-charge’ of Bholath seat in Kapurthala district, represented by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira.
This is for the first time under the present Congress regime that an MLA has been deputed ‘in-charge’ of another segment.
Besides, the move belies the assurance made by Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh before the assembly elections that he would scrap the ‘halqa in-charge’ system initiated by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) during its regime.
Rana Gurjit behind move
Punjab power and irrigation minister Rana Gurjit Singh, who has been intervening into the party’s affairs in Bholath constituency, is behind the appointment of Sikki, who is close to him.
Rana spoke about Sikki’s new role in a recent meeting of party workers of Bholath segment in Kapurthala.
Mincing no words, Rana said Sikki will look after overall the development of the segment and redress grievances of people on behalf of the state government.
Although Rana claimed that Sikki has been given the new responsibility as the people of Bholath have been living in a mess for the past 10 years, sources said he got the Khadoor Sahib MLA appointed as ‘halqa in-charge’ to counter Khaira, who has been carrying out an aggressive campaign against Rana after he was caught into the sand mine controversy.
However, another party insider said that by fielding his man (Sikki) in Bholath, Rana wants to pave way for allotment of the Congress ticket to his son Rana Inder Partap Singh in the next assembly elections.
The leadership crisis in Bholath is also being considered as one of the factors behind the party making Sikki in-charge of the constituency.
Notably, Sikki came into limelight when he resigned as Khadoor Sahib MLA in 2015 to protest against the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Bath village and other places in the state. His resignation had necessitated a bypoll in the constituency.
However, he called for boycotting the bypoll and the Congress high command endorsed his feelings.
SAD candidate Ravinder Singh Brahmpura, son of Akali stalwart and Lok Sabha MP from Khadoor Sahib Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, emerged a winner in the one-sided contest in the bypoll. However, during the assembly elections in February, Sikki again clinched the Khadoor Sahib seat.
However, Sikki has earned the image of an inaccessible MLA as he is rarely seen in Khadoor Sahib and spends much of his time in Jalandhar, his hometown.
To get his reaction over his new role in Bholath, HT made repeated efforts to contact Sikki over phone, but he remained inaccessible.
On his part, Khaira said, “What can you expect for the people of Bholath from a man who is absconding from his own constituency Khadoor Sahib.”
“As I have been raising my voice against his wrongdoings, Rana has fielded Sikki in Bholath under the false belief that he can challenge me in my home turf,” he added.
First Published: Sep 03, 2017 20:22 IST