If the recent political developments were any indication, Congress leader Jagbir Singh Brar, who stepped into politics through a SAD ticket in the 2007 assembly elections, was all set to join SAD again. Brar, who is District Congress (Rural) president in Jalandhar has been seeking a ticket from Jalandhar Cantonment seat, which was traditionally a Congress bastion. Considered to be a safe bet, a majority of the top rung Congress leaders were also eyeing the Jalandhar Cantonment seat in these elections. However, during the last two consecutive assembly elections, SAD won this seat with a thumping majority, hence eroding Congress base.
Though Brar vehemently denied the development, sources maintained that a meeting of Jagbir Brar was scheduled by Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia with Deputy Chief Minister. “Currently, talks were going with the SAD leadership. However, a final call was awaited”, sources added. Reportedly, the SAD leadership was also conducting a survey of Jagbir Brar’s homecoming to SAD through a private agency and the local police. Sources maintained that the SAD survey was aimed at checking voter’s response and winnability factor of Brar if he was given a ticket from Jalandhar Cantonment seat.
While talking to Daily Post, Jagbir Singh Brar denied the development and said, “I am not at all joining SAD. It is a deliberately planted rumour against me by a section of congress leaders. Rather I am busy with upcoming booth level meetings of Congress.”The Congress leader said that these rumours spread after the name of Punjab Congress president and ex- Chief Minister Punjab Capt Amarinder Singh’s name emerged as a probable candidate from Jalandhar Cantonment seat. “Apart from Capt Amarinder Singh, many other names were also doing the rounds. This led to a strong rumour against me that I might not be contesting from Jalandhar Cantonment seat and joining the SAD”, he added.
But, when pointed out that he has been absent from the Congress functions for the past some days, Brar said that his sons went abroad, so he remained busy with personal work. Further, when asked again, Brar said in Punjabi, “SAD to tauba hai ji.” Brar rather countered the developments by saying that once Congress came to power, all those responsible for drugs and sand mafia would be taken to task. However, it was learned that Brar was eyeing a ticket only from Jalandhar Cantonment seat, from where he contested the 2012 Assembly Elections.
Sources maintained that the Congress was eyeing some other candidate from Jalandhar Cantonment seat, which was one of the major reasons behind his decision to look towards SAD. “Moreover, the sour relation of senior Congress leader Manpreet Singh Badal and Jagbir Brar was an open secret. Though a ‘formal brotherly tie-up’ was done recently but that was seemingly a ‘photo-op’ only”, observed a Congress leader.
It is pertinent to mention here that Jagbir Singh Brar left government job as Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO) and won from Jalandhar Cantt seat on SAD ticket in 2007 in his maiden innings. Later, he left SAD and joined the newly formed People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) of his cousin Manpreet Badal but left him midway and joined Congress ahead of the 2012 assembly elections. In 2012, Brar contested on Congress ticket from Jalandhar Cantonment seat but lost to SAD’s Pargat Singh.
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