Amarinder’s son buries differences with Badal aides for Punjab Rifle Association elections | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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Amarinder’s son buries differences with Badal aides for Punjab Rifle Association elections

With change of guard in Punjab, there has also been a change of heart. The Congress and Akali Dal have buried their differences to lead a coalition in the sports body.

punjab Updated: May 19, 2017 11:13 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Captain Amarinder Singh,Sunil Jakhar,Sukhbir Singh Badal
A former shooter, Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar was elected in his absence as he is in New Delhi.(File Photo)

There should be no politics in sports. But politics can do with some sports. Not very long ago in February 2013, National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh, son of Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, had debarred the Punjab Rifle Shooting Association (PRSA), led by former Akali Dal minister Bikram Singh Majithia. The latter had moved a Mohali court which had stayed the order.

In a setback to Majithia camp soon after in March, it failed to stop Raninder from having his way to exercise the right to choose four representatives as life members of the NRAI. Raninder was also re-elected NRAI president a month later in April.

The two had buried their differences in October the same year when Majithia came to cheer Raninder during a shooting championship in Patiala. With change of guard in the state, there has also been a change of heart. The Congress and Akali Dal have buried their differences to lead a coalition in the sports body.

While Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar was on Thursday elected as chairman of the Punjab Rifle Shooting Association at an election held at PCA stadium at SAS Nagar, Gurbir Singh Sandhu, who had earlier made way for Majithia after the state unit was “derecognised” by NRAI, was elected as president. Sandhu is a former Olympian and father of Olympic shooter Manavjit Singh .

Former deputy CM Sukhbir Badal’s officer on special duty and now Youth Akali Dal secretary general Parminder Singh Brar has been elected senior vice-president. Sukhbir’s cousin Pawanpreet Singh alias Bobby Badal was appointed honorary secretary general. Brar, who has been part of state unit headed by Gurbir and later Majithia, said, “There should be no politics in sports. Both Akali Dal and Congress members were elected unanimously.”

A former shooter, Jakhar was elected in his absence as he is at New Delhi. Though he steered clear of commenting on Akali-Congress coming together, Jakhar said he was keen to opt out. “Raninder had asked me to head the Punjab body and Gurbir is a friend. But I feel politicians should stay out of sports bodies. I would love to promote the sport but they can pick up someone better who can devote more time to it,” Jakhar said.

Gurbir lauded Raninder’s efforts in the “promotion” of shooting in Punjab and Raninder congratulated the newly elected PRSA members and promised full cooperation of NRAI for the development of shooting as a major sport in Punjab.