Gurdaspur Diary: Fateh Jung hogs the limelight

Ex-Qadian MLA Fateh Jung Bajwa surely understands the need of a politician to remain in the limelight. The man left the Congress after a family feud over the allotment of the Congress ticket from Qadian. Once it became crystal clear that he would not be re-nominated by the Congress despite the fact that he was a sitting MLA, Bajwa wasted no time and joined the BJP. So much so, the party also made him contest from the Batala Assembly seat. That he lost is not the point of discussion here. The moot point is that despite losing he has developed a knack of hogging the limelight. The other day he and his son, Arjun Partap Singh Bajwa, who is also a member of the Gurdaspur Zila Parishad, met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the national capital. It is learnt that Fateh discussed the problems of Punjab with the minister. His photo with Shah went viral and created quite a furore in Batala. Everybody, from the common man to the high-heeled, started discussing “how well connected Fateh is with the national leadership.” The grapevine has it that “Fateh has been sounded by the BJP about the probability of the party fielding him from Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency for the 2024 general elections.” It may be false. It may be true. Nobody, except for some Hollywood films like ‘The Man Who Saw Tomorrow’, has predicted the future till yet.

75 Mohalla clinics before I-Day

Sri Hargobindpur AAP MLA Amarpal Singh is on a thanks-giving tour of his Assembly these days. In one such meeting, he made it clear that his party would open 75 mohalla clinics before the I-Day. The administration has started identifying sites where these ventures can be set up. “Our leadership possesses the good sense to know what to do to take care of the health of the people. Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings,” said the MLA.

Illegal ‘area chief’ system irks Oppn

The AAP’s decision of appointing party candidates as Halqa Incharges (caretakers) of the very Assembly seats they lost is totally unconstitutional and democratically unethical in nature. This mechanism was first put in place in 2012 when the SAD was voted to power for the second successive time. In Gurdaspur, there are five “area chiefs”- a euphemism for Halqa Incharge-who rules the roost. This “illegitimate political structure” has come under fire from senior Congressmen. They are actually facing flak from employees, trade unions and senior Congressmen, including an Ex-Dy CM, an MP and two cabinet ministers, for “acting as an impediment in the smooth working of government institutions.” Barring few, majority of them regularly ‘raid’ government officials to “ensure everything is working in accordance with the law.” Ex-Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa claimed teachers, revenue officials and hospital staff had brought to his notice how Dera Baba Nanak Halqa Incharge Gurdeep Singh had recently “raided” a girls’ senior secondary school and the civil hospital of his area and was “passing on instructions to employees as if he was an elected representative.” “I take umbrage at these very acts. I have been given the mandate to represent people in the Vidhan Sabha and not these people. These leaders should sit at home but unfortunately the opposite is happening. Unable to bear losses in the elections, they are now venting their frustration at the employees. This is extra-constitutional. I will go to any extent to check such political misdemeanors,” said a livid Randhawa. Partap Singh Bajwa, Qadian MLA and two-time MP, urged CM Bhagwant Mann to reign in his leaders or be ready to face the music. “These people have no moral authority to conduct raids. The sooner they are controlled, the better it will be,” he said. Likewise, ex-cabinet minister Aruna Chaudhury claimed that Dinanagar Halqa Incharge Shamsher Singh was indulging in political chicanery. (Contributed by Ravi Dhaliwal)

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