Tribune News Service
Qadian, December 28
The defection of Qadian MLA Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa was very much on the cards ever since his elder brother Partap Singh Bajwa, a two-time MP and three-time MLA, made his intentions clear of contesting from the family seat.
This was a clear signal to Fateh to either shift loyalties to another party or find another seat for himself. As things stand, he has chosen to exercise the first option.
Incidentally, the brothers stay in the same house in Qadian. The Congress flag flutters on the roof of their house. It remains to be seen if Fateh now matches it with the BJP flag or not.
Sources say the Qadian MLA has been inducted into the party with the assurance that he would be fielded either from Qadian or Batala.
Fateh’s son Arjun Partap Bajwa won the Gurdaspur zila parishad polls on a Congress ticket. It remains in the realms of speculation whether he follows in his father’s footsteps or not.
The Qadian melodrama was becoming one big headache for the party as Partap was not willing to forgo his claim, while Fateh had been insisting “nobody had the guts and gumption to snatch Qadian away from me”. With today’s development, the rift in the Bajwa family is out in the open. Earlier, whenever Fateh and Partap would be on a collision course, and such occasions used to happen regularly, senior members of the family used to intervene.
When Partap made it clear in the first week of December he would fight from Qadian, Fateh was taken aback. There were many who thought he would join the SAD and contest from the Batala seat. However, this speculation was nipped in the bud the moment the Akalis announced Sucha Singh Chhotepur as their candidate.
In 2012, Fateh was adamant on contesting from Qadian but his sister-in-law and Partap’s wife, Charanjit Kaur Bajwa, rocked the family boat and insisted she be made the candidate. She had pulled out all the stops to make sure Fateh stayed out of contention. Finally, Partap played the peacemaker and Fateh withdrew, but with the rider that he would be the candidate in the 2017 elections.
Partap remained true to his word and in 2017, Fateh won by a comfortable margin. He was given the ticket but not before Charanjit had staged a revolt of sorts by insisting she be given a second chance to contest.
When Charanjit contested from Qadian in 2012, a livid Fateh had left his hometown and campaigned around the clock for his friend and Congress candidate Balwinder Laddi in the neighbouring Sri Hargobindpur seat.
Laddi, a Fateh’s protégé, was expected to follow in his master’s footsteps and that is what he has done. “He has joined the BJP on the assurance that he will be the BJP candidate from Sri Hargobindpur,” said a BJP leader.
BJP May field MLA from Qadian or Batala
- In the past, whenever brothers Partap and Fateh Bajwa were on collision course, senior members of the family used to intervene and broker truce
- With Partap making his intentions clear to contest from Qadian, the sitting legislator was forced to join BJP. He may be fielded from Qadian or Batala
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