A WEEK after the Congress suspended party MLA from Zira, Kulbir Singh Zira, for “gross indiscipline”, the party reinstated him Friday and allowed him to attend a meeting of party legislators chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
PPCC president Sunil Kumar Jakhar said Zira was reinstated after directions from the high command. He said since his suspension came after a direction from the Alll India Congress Committee (AICC), the decision to revoke it was also taken in consultation with AICC. Zira did not say much after his reinstatement except that he thanked the CM, PPCC president and AICC leaders for accepting his apology and reinstating him. Zira had spoken up against the government during a function in presence of Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal in Ferozepore a fortnight ago. He had accused IG (Ferozepore range) Mukhwinder Singh Chhina of “complicity with bootleggers”. He was issued a showcause notice by the party and ever after receiving the notice he had continued with his public outburst. The party put him under suspension on January 16, following which he had apologised. Sources said the party wanted to keep him under suspension for some more time to convey a message to others that indiscipline would not be tolerated. But following pressure from party legislators, the suspension was revoked.
It is learnt that Zira’s father, Inderjit Singh Zira had exerted a lot of pressure on MLAs to take up the case of his son as he was a young MLA and had political career ahead. Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa had taken up his case strongly.
The decision to reinstate him was taken after a meeting between Chief Minister, Jakhar and general secretary incharge Asha Kumari. The MLAs, who were supporting him said his reinstatement was in the interest of the party. Since Zira had apologised he should have been reinstated much earlier, they said.
Party insiders said Zira’s outburst was being looked at as the start of a rebellion by several MLAs, especially the younger ones. It was Barinderjit Singh Pahda from Gurdaspur who had spoken up against Rural Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa in Vidhan Sabha in December 2018.