Ex-CM Beant’s legacy helps Ravneet Bittu pip Taranjit Singh Sandhu : The Tribune India

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Ex-CM Beant’s legacy helps Ravneet Bittu pip Taranjit Singh Sandhu

Ex-CM Beant’s legacy helps Ravneet Bittu pip Taranjit Singh Sandhu

BJP workers celebrate the elevation of Ravneet Singh Bittu as Union Minister in Ludhiana on Sunday. INDERJEET VERMA



Tribune News Service

Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, June 9

When it came to choosing a Jat Sikh face from Punjab in the PM Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet, a former diplomat, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, has lost the ministerial berth to Ravneet Bittu. Both were defeated in the elections from Amritsar and Ludhiana to the Congress candidates.

The BJP’s political compulsion seems to have favoured Bittu, who has a legacy of his grandfather and former CM Beant Singh, who was killed in a bomb blast by terrorists. By doing so, the saffron party appears to have hijacked the nationalist agenda on “anti-terrorism stance” in the border state, otherwise played to the gallery by the Congress.

Nationalist agenda

  • The BJP’s political compulsion seems to have favoured Ravneet Bittu, who has a legacy of his grandfather and former CM Beant Singh, who was killed in a bomb blast by terrorists. The saffron party appears to have hijacked the nationalist agenda on “anti-terrorism stance”
  • On the other hand, Taranjit Sandhu’s legacy of his grandfather Teja Singh Samundri, who played a key role in the gurdwara reform movement of 1920, does not seem to have come to his advantage

On the other hand, Sandhu’s legacy of his grandfather Teja Singh Samundri, who played a key role in the gurdwara reform movement of 1920, does not seem to have come to his advantage.

Political analysts point out that Bittu, who had always been speaking against terrorism, fits in to the BJP’s script in the run-up to the 2027 Assembly elections in Punjab. “A young Jat Sikh face, who has been riding on the anti-terrorism legacy of his grandfather during his stint in the Congress, suits the BJP,” they say.

“When the news of Bittu being inducted into the Cabinet spread, we were unhappy as everyone here thought that since it was the PM who inspired Sandhu to join politics, ministerial berth was for sure. His induction into the Cabinet would have bridged the gap between the border district and the Capital,” said Surinder Singh, a readymade garment merchant from Amritsar.

If Bittu has the legacy of his grandfather, the former diplomat also has the legacy of his grandfather Teja Singh Samundri. He had died in Lahore prison at the age of 44 in 1926 and left an enduring legacy in the Sikh circle.

BJP Punjab unit general secretary Jagmohan Singh Raju, a retired IAS officer, said, “The allotment of the ministry was the prerogative of the Prime Minister.” Raju, who retired from a senior position as a bureaucrat in Tamil Nadu, had unsuccessfully contested as a BJP candidate from the Amritsar South segment in the 2022 Assembly poll.

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#Narendra Modi #Ravneet Bittu #Sikhs #Taranjit Singh Sandhu


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