Once a Congman, spending little time with the Shiromani Akali Dal, PPP and even expelled colleague Jagmeet Singh Brar, this former deputy speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha now turns Aam Aadmi
No doubt it is a season of turncoats. People are switching loyalties with impunity. Still, the case of former Punjab Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh is the classic one to discuss the issue.
When the state is scheduled to go for Vidhan Sabha polling in next four days, Bir Devinder Singh has donned the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) scarf. Thanks to his political journey that is full of turns and bumps, people in Punjab will now be curious to see how long he remains with the ‘Jhadoo Party’.
Started his carrier with All India Sikh Student Federation (AISSF) 1971, he joined the Congress, through Sanjay Gandhi, in 1978. He fought his first political battle in 1980 and became the Congress MLA. Five years after, he was again fielded but lost the 1985 polls, probably for being Sikh and remaining with the Congress, a party that was under fire for carrying Operation Bluestar in 1984.
In 1986, he failed to work with the then Chief Minister Beant Singh and going by his nature he turned rebel and moved out of the party. It is learnt that his efforts to join the Shiromani Akali Dal did not bear fruit as Gurcharan Singh Tohra had a better understanding of him. Failed, he launched efforts of to re-enter the Congress but Beant Singh was standing at gate to check the move.
In 1999, Captain Amarinder Singh made him rejoin the party fold and also gave ticket from Kharar in 2002 assembly polls, which he won and later became Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha in the Captain Amarinder Singh regime, though from 2003-04 only.
In 2008, he had a dispute with mentor Captain Amarinder Singh and left the Congress. This time he was welcomed in the Akali Dal with deep regards. However, finding restless there, Bir Devinder came out of the Akali Dal in 2010 saying that the party had “lost its initial ideology”.
The next destination for him was now Sukhbir’s estranged cousin Manpreet Singh Badal’s newly formed outfit Peoples’ Party of Punjab (PPP). Projecting him one of the tallest state politicians, the PPP fielded him from Kharar in 2012 Vidhan Sabha polls but the grey beard former deputy speaker couldn’t even save his security deposit.
A loser, he again put efforts to be back in the Congress and finally his attempts paid and Amarinder Singh again made him join the party. This time Bir Devinder was no short of words in praising Amarinder Singh but within sometime, the problem resurfaced and he uttered something which discomforted the PPCC president Amarinder Singh. He was first suspended for his ‘indisciplinary acts’ in 2016 with also Amarinder handing over his case to a probe panel constituted within the party. And later, acting upon the panel report, he was expelled for six years in March last year.
At this stage when no one was ready to take him, former deputy speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha had no option than to shake hand with another ex-Congress colleague Jagmeet Singh Brar (who was also expelled). However, finding Brar ‘visionless’, he soon parted ways. As per reports, Bir Devinder had once evaluated the option of joining the TMC but the scheme of things did not go well and he was left to stay at home.
Finally, on Monday, after days’ long efforts he managed to board the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s bus, leaving all curious to see how far it goes!
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