League of Punjab’s expelled extraordinary Congressmen

For the last sometime, Jagmeet Singh Brar was itching to get unceremoniously expelled from the Congress. Unlike in case of former deputy speaker Bidevinder Singh, the party did not deem it necessary even to serve him a show cause this time. With both of them having been sacked for the same reason, Punjab now has a league of expelled extraordinary Congress leaders.

Both Jagmeet and Birdevinder started their political career with the All India Sikh Students Federation. Birdevinder is among the few well-read politicians with good command over English. Both are politically sharp and incisive and articulate. Both of them are very good orators. Both of them are considered to be over-ambitious. At one level, both of them are narcissists. Both of them are politically erratic too, a behavior dictated by ambition. Both have been in and out of the Congress.

It would be too premature to say that they are now towards the fag end of their political career as P V Narasimha Rao was brought in by the Congress to become the Prime Minister from the wilderness. He had decided not to contest the election citing health conditions.

In Punjab, none would have thought in 1989 that a totally isolated Parkash Singh Badal would stage a spectacular come back and create a record of becoming chief minister for five times. The political leaders have a lot to learn from Badal whose single most important trait has been patience, his politics of opportunism being the negative one. Badal always waited for the opportunity to strike back. He has spared none in his political career and he can be termed as politically the most ruthless politician who never raises his voice. Unlike Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Badal, nearing 90, has not passed on the baton to his Deputy Chief Minister son Sukhbir Singh Badal who otherwise is the de facto chief minister. Badal has never left the Akali Dal although he is credited with several splits. His close supporters never deserted him.

Birdevinder was elected as an MLA for the first time in 1980 and then after a long gap in 2002. Brar had the reputation of a giant killer as he had defeated Sukhbir Singh Badal  from  Faridkot in the 1999 Lok Sabha election during Badal government in the state. However, their problem is different. They suffer from unpredictability and attacking own party leaders.

Brar shocked everyone after the 2014 Lok Sabha election with his comments about Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi that led to his suspension. It may be mentioned that he was a strong contender when Partap Singh Bajwa replaced Capt Amarinder Singh as the state party chief. Perhaps he has  never been able to digest that.

Birdevinder  has been part of the Akali Dal and People’s Party of Punjab too for some time before  staging come back to the Congress. Brar too has been changing parties.

When he met Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal at a marriage function in Delhi a few months back, all types of speculations were in the air. However, he never received the invitation from Kejriwal.

Earlier at one stage when the Bharatiya Janata Party toyed with the idea of breaking alliance with the Akali Dal, Brar had hobnobbed with Amit Shah. The BJP had plans to take up the agenda of drug menace with awareness campaign to be launched by Shah from Amritsar.

Badals intervened to block Brar. His joining even otherwise would have meant end to the alliance as he has been a very strong critic of the Badals as he too belongs to the same Muktsar district.

The tragedy with the Congress in Punjab is that the party has leaders with bloated egos as the rank and file has been putting pressure on the warring leaders to sink their differences. At one level, there is  also demoralization  with AAP having emerged as the real third alternative in the traditional bipolar polity of this state.

People in the state are already taking positions  this time months before the election due in February 2017. However, the situation would become clear only after the poll announcement when the people would be free from pressures of every kind.


Jagtar Singh


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