Jalandhar:The announcement came as a surprise package for Raipur and his brother, who had been at loggerheads with Makkar since a long time
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in conversation with SGPC member Paramjit Singh Raipur in Jalandhar on Wednesday. DP
In a clear move aimed at crisis management, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday pacified disgruntled SGPC member Paramjit Singh Raipur by appointing him as Chairman Jalandhar Improvement Trust (JIT). He was also elevated as vice president of SAD.
The announcement came barely a fortnight before the Election Code of Conduct was to be implemented in the state. Raipur was not handed over any official letter of joining by Deputy CM. Currently, the JIT was headed by a bureaucrat.
Raipur and his UK based ex-NRI Jaspal Singh Dhesi were strongly opposing the candidature of party’s Jalandhar Cantonment seat candidate Sarabjit Singh Makkar. The brother duo along with SAD Jalandhar Urban President Gurcharan Singh Channi has announced to boycott Makkar in cantonment.
The Deputy CM’s decision at fag end of government’s tenure was the result of recent announcement of Paramjit Singh Raipur that his brother Jaspal Singh Dhesi would be contesting as ‘independent candidate’ from Jalandhar Cantonment constituency.
Sukhbir Badal reached Raipur’s house at Raipur Pharala village and met the brother duo and their supporters, hence announcing the appointment. The announcement came as a surprise package for Raipur and his brother, who had been at loggerheads with Makkar since a long time.
Notably, on Sunday, Raipur and his brother Jaspal Singh Dhesi held a show of strength at their ancestral village Raipur Pharala, which falls under Jalandhar Cantonment constituency. Raipur’s supporters had declared their support to Dhesi as an independent candidate but with a promise that the seat would fall in the kitty of SAD only.
Talking to Daily Post, Paramjit Singh Raipur said, “I was not expecting any appointment. Deputy CM came to our residence today and now all the supporters have declared support for Makkar. This is party’s directive and we are bound by it.”
When asked that whether he was elated over the appointment as Chairman JIT, Raipur said that though late but he was content that he was suitably placed. “Our supporters were agitated that despite promises made by CM Badal and Deputy CM, I was not suitably placed in the government. In 2007 elections, party fielded Jagbir Brar and we supported him. Similarly, in the 2012 elections, party fielded Pargat Singh and we continued our support. This time we took a stand and finally, Deputy CM appointed me as JIT chairman”, he said.
He also said that during the recent meeting in Jamsher, workers had announced conditional support that the party leadership should fulfill its previous promise. “The workers would now support Makkar in Cantonment,” he added.
It is pertinent to mention here that Paramjit Singh Raipur too has contested the 2002 Assembly Election as a SAD candidate from cantonment. However he lost the seat to congress leader Gurkanwal Kaur. “Even 1997, I contested as an independent candidate and polled 12,781 votes. I have been serving the SAD since 1978”, he mentioned.
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