Knives out among BJP, Akalis over Jaitley defeat
The knives are out among leaders of Punjab's ruling alliance, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party, over the defeat of senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley from the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency.
In the latest salvo, Akali Dal legislators have questioned BJP legislator and chief parliamentary secretary Navjot Kaur for her outburst against Revenue Minister and local Akali Dal lawmaker Bikram Singh Majithia over Jaitley's defeat.
Navjot Kaur, the wife of outgoing Amritsar MP, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, had blamed Majithia's over-confidence for Jaitley's loss.
Akali Dal legislators Harmeet Sandhu, Virsa Singh Valtoha, Manjit Singh Manna and Baljit Singh Jalalusma, in a statement Monday, urged Navjot Kaur "to introspect on her actions before pointing fingers at senior leader and Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia".
They said it was Navjot Kaur "who had disowned the coalition dharma by airing her grudges in the media instead of at party forums".
The legislators asked her to explain how Jaitley lost by 32,000 votes in her Amritsar East assembly segment. They wondered whether her popularity graph had gone down by so much or whether there was a mischief to ensure Jaitley's defeat and embarrass the ruling alliance.
They said she could not point fingers at others, especially Majithia, the brother-in-law of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Jaitley lost to former Punjab chief minister and Congress candidate Captain Amarinder Singh by over one lakh votes. Jaitley is the senior-most BJP leader to have lost anywhere in the country while others in the party benefitted from the pro-Narendra Modi wave.
Sidhu, who won the Amritsar seat in 2004, 2007 (by-election) and 2009, was replaced this time by the BJP with Jaitley without assigning any reason for his (Sidhu's) ouster.
(Posted on 19-05-2014)