On Tuesday, Fateh Singh Bajwa, an ardent follower of Punjab Congress head Navjot Singh Sidhu and a sitting MLA from Qadian, joined the BJP, putting the ruling Congress in disarray. Fateh is now set to face his brother, Partap Singh Bajwa, a senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member, in the election.
“This party must make a decision” (whether there will be Bajwa vs Bajwa in Qadian.) We shall follow the party’s instructions. “I will undoubtedly run for office,” Fateh told News18. “I came because of Modi ji’s dedication for the country,” Fateh said when asked if he joined the BJP because of his elder brother Partap Singh’s candidacy from his seat. I am aware that the only way for Punjab to progress is for the BJP to be in power. In Punjab, I shall be the BJP’s foot soldier, and you will see the BJP flag raised throughout the state.”
Partap Bajwa, who has expressed interest in running for Qadian even though the Congress has yet to release its initial list of candidates, has been meeting with people in the hope of persuading the party’s high command to declare his candidacy for the seat.
According to a source, Fateh Singh’s move was based on the party’s one-family-one-ticket policy, which meant that only one of the Bajwa brothers would have received a ticket from the Congress.
Fateh Singh was one of the first to applaud Sidhu’s appointment as Punjab Congress chief, even suggesting that he be made the party’s face in the 2022 Punjab elections
In the past, Partap has been critical of previous Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, saying that if the Congress was serious about winning the elections, it needed to ensure a change of guard. Many saw his continuous tirades as fueling his desire to head the party and be selected as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chairman. Partap remained distant following Sidhu’s appointment, and he had even met Amarinder after he had stepped down as CM.
Partap may have settled the party’s fight with Sidhu and Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi by calling a ceasefire, but he has antagonised his family, with his brother now his opponent in Qadian.
Though nothing is certain until the Congress announces its candidates, this is one contest that will be closely monitored in the run-up to the state elections.
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