Tuesday, August 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Kairon-Brahmpura feud alarms CM
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 20
The animosity between the Cooperation Minister, Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and the ‘Kairon family’ (close relatives of the Chief Minister) may intensify with a close confidant of the former winning the crucial Naushehra Pannua sarpanch’s election.

The byelection was virtually a ‘do or die’ battle between the two old political rivals of the Majha region. The entire Naushehra Pannua area was converted into a police cantonment with heavy deployment of force. Tarn Taran SSP Jagdish Mittal himself was monitoring the security arrangements as a precautionary measure.

According to sources, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, is disturbed over the developments as Assembly elections are round the corner.

While Mr Brahmpura is also a senior vice-president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Kairon family includes Mr Surinder Singh Kairon, a former Congress MP, and Mr Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, Excise and Taxation Minister (son-in-law of Mr Badal), who had joined the Akali Dal at the behest of Mr Badal.

Though Mr Surinder Singh Kairon has not joined the SAD yet he has direct and indirect control over a dozen Assembly constituencies of Amritsar district the courtesy Mr Badal. He is instrumental in getting the postings and transfers of bureaucrats which not acceptable to Mr Brahmpura. Senior Akali leaders are of the view that either like his son, Mr Surinder Singh Kairon should join the SAD or his interference in the administrative work should be stopped. However, Akali circles are of the view that Mr Surinder Singh Kairon might go back to the Congress fold. He has been adopting wait and watch policy in this regard. However, senior Congress leaders of the region would strongly oppose his ‘homecoming’ for obvious reasons.

So much so that at the time of the polling yesterday, Mr Brahmpura said Mr Surinder Kairon’s interference in the day-to-day working might affect the prospects of the SAD during the forthcoming elections in the Majha region. He also charged that the ‘Kairon family’ had been instrumental in getting false cases registered against Akali workers. He criticised the district administration for allegedly working on the ‘directions’ of the Kairon family.

Many Akali leaders of the Majha region have been complaining to Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP and general secretary of the SAD against the working of the ‘Kairon family’. Sources said that Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal had also taken serious view of such complaints and took the matter to Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

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