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Made to quit in Congress govt’s first year, Rana Gurjit Singh returns in its last lap

The three-time MLA, the richest in Punjab Assembly currently, is popular among his electorate, but was dropped from Capt Amarinder Singh’s Cabinet over allegedly pocketing sand mining contracts in the names of his employees.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
September 25, 2021 9:05:36 pm
Rana Gurjit’s family traces its roots to village Bahar Majara near Banga in district Nawansh

Born on April 19, 1952 in Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar (Uttarakhand), Rana Gurjit Singh, is the sitting MLA from Kapurthala Assembly Constituency. The current term is his third in the House representing Kapurthala in 2002, 2012 and 2017.

In addition, he represented Jalandhar Lok Sabha constituency from 2004 to 2009.

The three-time MLA, the richest in Punjab Assembly currently, is popular among his electorate, but was dropped from Capt Amarinder Singh’s Cabinet over allegedly pocketing sand mining contracts in the names of his employees. His name, however, was cleared by a probe panel.

Rana Gurjit’s family traces its roots to village Bahar Majara near Banga in district Nawanshahr.

Kapurthala Assembly Constituency, traditionally Akali stronghold, has remained with the Rana family from 2002 onwards as Rana’s sister-in-law (younger brother’s wife), Sukhjinder Kaur (Sukhi Rana) won this seat in the bypoll necessitated with the election of Rana Gurjit as MP from Jalandhar LS seat in 2004. His wife, Rajbans Kaur Rana, won as MLA from Kapurthala in the year 2007.

Having shifted to Punjab in 1986, Rana Gurjit’s family had set up a paper-mill in Rupnagar followed by a sugar mill in village Buttar Sivia on Batala-Beas road in Amritsar. They later established two distilleries in Punjab and Haryana. His family has four sugar mills in UP apart from huge farm holdings.

Always in the headlines for one reason or the other, Rana Gurjit is a grassroots leader and highly popular among his electorate.

He was inducted in the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in March, 2017 as Irrigation & Power Minister, but had to resign after barely nine months, in January 2018, after being accused of allegedly pocketing sand mining contracts worth Rs 26.51 crore in village Saidpur Khurd in Nawanshahr in the name of his staff, which included his personal cook, Amit Bahadur. An Inquiry Commission headed by former High Court judge J S Narang gave Rana a clean chit. His elder son was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) over FEMA allegations in 2018.

He has two sons, Rana Inder Partap Singh and Rana Karan Partap .

Always in the headlines for one reason or the other, Rana is a grassroots leader and highly popular among his electorate.

He is a firebrand leader who engaged in a bitter war of words (or verbal duel) with Bikramjit Singh Majithia, the then Revenue Minister in the 2012-17 SAD-BJP government. Sukhpal Singh Khaira, another firebrand leader, and who got elected as MLA on AAP ticket from Bholath (in Kapurthala District) in 2017 before switching over to Congress earlier this year, is his sworn rival.

Rana Gurjit is known for his flamboyant lifestyle and immaculate dressing sense, and, in fact, is the richest MLA in the present Punjab Vidhan Sabha having moveable and immoveable assets worth Rs 169.88 crore which increased by more than 100 per cent from Rs 68.46 crore in 2012 Assembly elections.

Rana, who was considered as a close confidant of former CM Captain Amarinder Singh, had raised ‘drug issue’, a year after formation of Congress government. In 2018, he had alleged that a sub-inspector of Punjab Police made a youth, a son of Kapurthala-based photojournalist, a drug addict by giving him heroin, which took his life, but no one was listening in his own government.

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