A Punjab legislator has pitched Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa’s name for the chief minister’s post, leaving the Congress embarrassed, days after another MLA was suspended from the party over his public outburst.
“The days are not far when the command of Punjab will be in the hands of Partap Singh Bajwa ji. We, at this pious place, pray before God to accept our demand and prayer that in coming few months, we accept Partap Singh Bajwa ji as the chief minister of Punjab,” Hargobindpura MLA Balwinder Singh Laddi is seen as saying in a viral video.
Considered a close aide of former state party chief Bajwa, Laddi made “the wish” was addressing a public function at Ghuman village in Gurdaspur district. Bajwa and his younger MLA brother Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa were sitting on the dais.
Punjab Congress on Wednesday suspended MLA Kulbir Singh Zira from the party on the charge of indiscipline, days after he publicly vent his ire over alleged inaction of authorities to check illicit liquor trade in Ferozepur.
Realising the repercussions in view of party action against Zira, Laddi Friday claimed that he got swayed by emotions and had no problem with incumbent Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
In the video, the Congress MLA could be heard purportedly praising Bajwa for raising public issues in meetings with Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh. “Saadi sarkaar de do saal dhille mathhe rahe honge (Two years of our government may not have been that great. But you must have seen how Bajwa strongly raised the issues of Punjab— be it demands of employees, pending payment of sugarcane growers and electricity bill of poor people before the CM,” said Balwinder Singh.
Laddi was apparently referring to Bajwa attending a meeting of Congress’ Majha MLAs with Punjab CM.
Laddi told the gathering, “All the Majha MLAs watched how Bajwa raised the issues with CM. Everybody was satisfied that Bajwa talked about the demands which were in cold storage for long time.”
He said, “It is great honour that we have leader like Bajwa. He is recognised not only in Punjab but across the world. Let us pray at this sacred place to Baba Namdev, Baba Jaimal that God must meet our wish and Partap Singh Bajwa may become chief minister of Punjab in next few months.”
Later, talking to The Indian Express, Laddi said, “An issue has been created out of nothing. I didn’t mean that Bajwa should be the CM in next few months. I wanted to say that Bajwa should become the CM after this the incumbent government successfully completes the tenure. I have no problems with Captain Amarinder Singh. He gives me lots of love and respect.”
“I just wanted to say that it has been long time that Majha has been kept away from post of CM. Partap Singh Kairon was the last CM from Majha. Majha should also get an opportunity. This was what I attempted to say.”
When asked about Singh’s comments, Bajwa said, “They can be his own sentiments. I will not like to make further comment on it.”
Sources said the Congress has taken note of Laddi’s remarks but no action was being mulled against him as of now.