AMRITSAR: With only less than 30 hours left for campaigning for the Punjab assembly polls to end, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former state minister Bikram Singh Majithia is leaving no stone unturned in pushing his case against his political rival cricketer-turned politician and Congress candidate Navjot Singh Sidhu at one of the hotly contested seats.
Despite Majithia not contesting from his traditional seat of Majitha and contesting against Sidhu from Amritsar (East) assembly seat, he is getting good support from people.
As he gets down from his car near Gopal Pura residential area in Amritsar east, several supporters assemble in groups start chanting slogans for him and many break into a dance to the roll of dhol and drums. Many others can be seen standing on their rooftop, showering flower petals.
Majithia is quick to connect with the locals. He walks towards the lane and greets people, especially women standing at the entrance of their homes, with his hands folded. Many welcome him with flowers, others click selfies and some even bring their kids for blessings from the former minister.
He walks across the narrow lanes of Gopal Pura to meet several people standing in their shops or outside their residence as part of his door to door campaign. He also touches the feet of elderly people to seek their support.
Speaking to The New Indian, Majithia said, “Can’t you see the people’s response? People are rising above the party lines, ever since they removed the Punjab Congress Chief Sidhu from the constituency.”
He was responding to a question about his campaigning and the kind of support he was getting in Amritsar (East).
To a question on why he is contesting from Amritsar (east) instead of his traditional seat, he said, “I am contesting for the people. This is not a fight against one man but is a fight for the people of Amritsar and their betterment.”
When asked about the “bhaiye” remarks of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for the people of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, Majithia said, “I totally condemn his remarks. He should be boycotted. People of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have been playing a bigger role for the growth of the economy of Punjab and people of the state, whether it’s in the fields or in industries. There are a lot of labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and they should be treated with respect.”
“Everybody’s dignity has to be protected. No Chief Minister has the right to use derogatory language against anyone,” the former minister said.
When questioned about the case registered against him under the NDPS Act, the SAD leader said, “It is all political vendetta.”
A case under NDPS Act was filed by the Mohali Police on December 20, 2021 against Majithia. He had evaded his arrest and approached the Supreme Court for respite.
The Supreme Court on January 31 had ordered protection from arrest of Majithia in a drugs case till February 23 even as the Congress government in Punjab said the case was not motivated by political vendetta and the State was sinking under the weight of a narcotic trade, which was leading the youth on the path to damnation.
To another question on the expected margin of win from the Amritsar east assembly seat, he said, “The margin will be huge.”
Majithia will be contesting from Amritsar (East) on the challenge posed by Sidhu to him. He has fielded his wife from his traditional Majitha seat.
The polling for the 117 member assembly seat is scheduled on February 20 and counting of votes will take place on March 10.