Punjab Assembly elections: Meet Bikram Singh Majithia, the man SAD believes will pip Navjot Singh Sidhu

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Punjab Assembly elections: Meet Bikram Singh Majithia, the man SAD believes will pip Navjot Singh Sidhu
© Provided by Firstpost Punjab Assembly elections: Meet Bikram Singh Majithia, the man SAD believes will pip Navjot Singh Sidhu

The Amritsar East constituency in the Punjab polls is going to be a big fight after the Shiromani Akali Dal announced that former minister Bikram Singh Majithia will be the party’s candidate facing off against Congress’ Navjot Singh Sidhu.

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Making the announcement on Wednesday, party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “Navjot Sidhu, be ready. Our warrior will fight from the Amritsar East seat.”

“Navjot Sidhu’s arrogance will be his undoing. He has been harping on about his support among the masses. Now his support will be tested with ‘Majha da sher’ taking him on in his home constituency. He should get ready to fight the brave SAD workers. We will break his arrogance by ensuring he loses his security deposit,” Badal said during the announcement declaring Majithia as their candidate.

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Soon after the announcement Majithia tweeted: “I express my gratitude to Akali Dal chief S.Sukhbir S.Badal Ji for giving me the opportunity to contest from Amritsar East constituency. Akalis have a brave history of fighting to safeguard the rights of Punjabis & protecting them from the anti-Punjab elements like Navjot Sidhu.”

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I express my gratitude to Shiromani Akali Dal chief S.Sukhbir S.Badal Ji for giving me the opportunity to contest from Amritsar East constituency. Akalis have a brave history of fighting to safeguard the rights of Punjabis & protecting them from the anti-Punjab elements like Navjot Sidhu. #ShiromaniAkaliDal #PunjabElections2022

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Bikram Singh Majithia (@Bikram_Singh_Majithia) 26 Jan 2022

As this battle heats up, let’s take a look at who Bikram Singh Majithia is and why his candidature has raised eyebrows.

Who is Bikram Singh Majithia?

Born in 1976 to a Jat Sikh family, Bikram Singh Majithia is a former cabinet minister in the Punjab government.

Majithia is the brother-in-law of Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and brother of former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

Bikram Majithia won the 2012 and 2017 Assembly elections from Majithia, an assembly segment in Amritsar, seen as his “safe seat”.

Majithia is also known as the ‘Majha da sher’ (lion of Majha) among his supporters and enjoys a wide following in his constituency. Incidentally, Amritsar East will be the second seat that Majithia will contest from.

Reports state that Sidhu and Majithia were once close to each other, but had a falling out while the Akali Dal was in power. The two had a fall out while Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the MLA from Amritsar East.

Since then, the two have not only issued stinging statements at each other but often clashed in the Punjab Assembly too.

Controversy surrounding Majithia

In December 2021, Majithia, 46, was booked in a drugs case and later received anticipatory bail from the high court. He is currently being investigated by a Special Investigation Team.

The cases against Majithia are based on allegations levelled against him in a special task force (STF) report prepared in 2018 by Harpreet Sidhu, a top police official.

He has been accused of providing his cars and security men to Canada-based Punjabi drug dealers, in addition to letting them stay at his residence in Amritsar. He is further accused of facilitating the sale of pseudoephedrine (used in making drugs) between these drug dealers and settling disputes between them.

The announcement comes just days after Punjab and Haryana High Court granted protection to Majithia against arrest for three days to move the Supreme Court for reprieve.

Reactions to his drug case

Sukhbir Singh Badal has termed the case against Majithia as a ‘false one’. He said, “Majithia is known to fight for the people. This was not to the liking of the Congress government. They have registered a false case against a Gursikh who is known to do ‘nitnem’ (reciting of Sikh religious text) for two-and-a-half-hours every day. Our workers also realised that the best way to seek justice for Majithia was in the people’s court and it is they who prevailed upon the party to make him the party candidate from Amritsar East.”

Lending support to her brother, former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, “I prayed at Sachkhand Sri Harmandar Sahib that if my brother Bikram (Singh Majithia) is involved in any way in the spread of the drug menace, may Guru Sahib inflict the most horrible punishment on each and every member of our family. But if it’s not true, those who told brazen lies on this issue as well as on the painful subject of sacrilege of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib may also be made to face the same fate.”

Punjab votes

The SAD has tied up with the BJP and Punjab Lok Congress for the upcoming elections. According to the seat-sharing arrangement among the parties, the BJP will contest on 65 Assembly seats, the Punjab Lok Congress on 37 seats and the SAD (Sanyukt) on 17 seats.

The state will go to the polls in a single phase on 20 February and the results will be announced on 10 March along with the remaining states — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

With inputs from agencies

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