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Salvo against Capt Amarinder Singh: Gurdaspur ticket denial still riles Partap Singh Bajwa

“Nothing personal against the CM, we all contributed for him to be here”

punjab Updated: Nov 03, 2017 11:29 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Partap Singh Bajwa,Shiromani Akali Dal,BJP
Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa (HT File)

Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa has upped the ante by against Capt. Amarinder Singh who is into eighth month of his second tenure as Punjab CM.

He is demanding action against the ministers of the previous Akali-BJP government belonging to the Shiromani Akali Dal, who were allegedly involved in scams.

“I have asked Rahul ji to clear the air on promise made to the people of Punjab before the polls and offered to resign also,” Bajwa told HT, adding that he doesn’t want any controversy as elections are going on in neighbouring state Himachal Pradesh and he’s a star campaigner.

Bajwa, as he said offered to resign three months ago, but he opened up a fortnight after Gurdaspur poll results, with Jakhar declared victorious.

He, infact, wanted his wife Charanjeet Kaur as a candidate for Gurdaspur bypoll, knowing well a sure shot victory with congress party in government in the state. Though she got very close to getting the ticket, but party in the end picked up Sunil Jakhar.

Bajwa, as a party insider says is upset, and feel that by bringing in “outsider” Jakhar, his home turf has been encroached. Keeping a grudge he even stayed away from the campaign.

“I was promised a ticket, for my wife and denied, but I have no axe to grind with anybody. I will continue to raise people’s voice as I am into active politician and not going to retire,” said Bajwa.

Party insiders call it a case of political upmanship, and by raising the issue of action against former Akali ministers which the congress MLAs also talk in hush -hush tone, Bajwa wants to stay relevant.

On being asked Bajwa said he had nothing against the Punjab CM, as he also contributed for him to be here. But actually he could never go well with Amarinder, what he’s saying now seems to be a new episode in old political rivalry. His fight with Amarinder is not new, as there were the differences during previous congress government (2002-07), when Bajwa was a PWD minister. “I have nothing against the Punjab CM, we all contributed for him to be here,” he said.

As PPCC president (from 2013-2105), Bajwa sought Amarinder’s expulsion from the party, alleging that he was planning to form a separate party in tacit understanding with the BJP. Then, Amarinder called him “incompetent and a failure”, and finally upstaged Bajwa to become the PPCC president.

Bajwa wants to stay relevant in state politics, and not sidelined after becoming rajya sabha MP (in 2016). A former PPCC president said, “its frustration, becoming a rajya sabha MP turned out to be a blunder for Bajwa, otherwise he would have been a minister in Punjab”.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 11:26 IST