A staunch supporter of Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and sitting MLA from Qadian, Fateh Singh Bajwa, joined the BJP on Tuesday, leaving the ruling Congress red faced. Fateh is now likely to contest against his brother Partap Singh Bajwa, a senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member.
“This party has to decide (whether there will be Bajwa vs Bajwa in Qadian.) We will do as the party says. I will definitely contest elections,” Fateh told News18. Whether he joined the BJP because of his elder brother Partap Singh’s candidature from his seat, Fateh explained, “No, I came because of Modi ji’s commitment for the country. I know that if Punjab has to progress it can be possible only with the BJP. I will be BJP’s foot soldier in Punjab and you will see that the BJP flag will be hoisted in the state.”
Partap Bajwa, who has expressed his keenness to contest from Qadian even as the Congress is yet to announce its first list of candidates, has been meeting people hoping to convince the party high command to announce his candidature from the constituency.
Explaining the move by Fateh Singh, a source said the party would be following a one family-one ticket model, hence only one of the Bajwa brothers would have got the ticket from the Congress.
Fateh Singh was one of the first to welcome the announcement of Sidhu as the Punjab Congress chief and had even said Sidhu should be made the face of Congress in 2022 Punjab elections.
Partap has been quite critical of former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh in the past and had said if the Congress was serious about winning the elections then it should ensure a change of guard. His constant tirade was taken by many as nurturing his ambition of wanting to lead the party and be appointed as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief. But with Sidhu’s appointment, Partap continued to remain distanced and had even met Amarinder after he had stepped down as the CM.
After having finally called it a truce with Sidhu and Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Partap might have ended the feud in the party but antagonised his family, with his brother now being his opponent in Qadian.
Though nothing can be decided till the Congress announces its candidates but this is one contest that would now be keenly watched ahead of the state polls.
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