New Delhi, January 19
Former Punjab Congress President Sunil Jakhar, who recently joined the BJP, and party’s Telangana chief Bandi Sanjay were the two leaders to find a mention in PM Narendra Modi’s valedictory address at the national executive meeting that concluded on Tuesday.
Praise for Sanjay
The PM praised Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay for strenuous padyatras cross the poll-bound state and asked the cadre to learn from the pursuit.
The Tribune has learnt that Jakhar and veteran Balwant Singh Ramoowalia’s daughter Amanjot Kaur were the only national executive members from Punjab to speak at the event. While the latter thanked the PM for commemorating Veer Bal Diwas, Jakhar, sources said, did some plain talk, saying Punjab was in need of a healing touch as the situation was “precarious with lawlessness at its worst”. Citing the Kartarpur corridor opening, Veer Bal Diwas and Guru Teg Bahadur’s 400th Parkash Purab celebrations at the Red Fort, Jakhar said while the PM was doing “the best he could” for the community, there was “skepticism on the ground about government’s outreach.”
He is learnt to have said: “ BJP’s former allies (read SAD) are sowing seeds of distrust among people regarding its motives and, hence, there is a need to identify fundamental issues concerning the community and address these.” Jakhar further mentioned that imposters (reference to Amritpal Singh) were out to exploit communal sentiments and urged the PM to “personally watch the situation”.
The PM, in his speech, acknowledged Jakhar’s suggestion that the BJP should change its narrative on economic issues, especially around the agenda of making India a USD 5 trillion economy. “I wonder if people know what trillion means. I don’t,” Jakhar said at the meeting, sending the gathering into splits. Jakhar also urged the PM to make Amritsar a world-class city.
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