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CM Badal snubs Majithia, fissures in family visible

Chandigarh, Jan 12, 2013, IANS 0:58 IST
Till the other day, the opposition Congress in Punjab was gunning for cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia, whose only claim to fame is that he is the brother-in-law of all-powerful deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

But now none other than chief minister Parkash Singh Badal himself showed Majithia his place at a function in Jalandhar in the presence of scores of non-resident Indians (NRIs).
“He got everything on a platter. I have spent 17 years in jails,” Punjab CM said while addressing the NRI conference, his barbs clearly aimed at Majithia.

Standing next to the chief minister on the dais, an embarrassed Majithia had no place to hide as Badal continued heaping scorn on him. “We gave them (Majithia) the platter, now they want to take control (of the chair),” he said.

Trouble brewing

Chief minister’s sarcastic comments can be seen in the light of Sukhbir-Majithia duo slowly tightening its grip on Akali Dal, party of state’s first political family.

This has brought out the tension simmering within the Badal family to the fore.
Majithia is the younger brother of Sukhbir’s wife, Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur.

Parkash Badal even mentioned the names of senior party leaders, some of whom have been sidelined in the Akali Dal by the Sukhbir-Majithia duo, who had been to jail during the struggling years of the party.

Winning confidence

“The Akali Dal is not an easy thing. We have done a lot and won the confidence of the people,” he said. “That’s how Akali governments have been formed. Work hard, we have spent our time. Now, work hard to serve them (people),” he added.

At the conference itself, some NRIs openly demanded that CM step down to make way for Sukhbir. This does not seem to have gone down well with the octogenarian leader.

Though just a day after his taunts, he tried to downplay his comments by trying to defend Majithia.

Taking advantage of Badal’s barbs, Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh said, “We had told him (Badal) to rein in Majithia but he did not listen earlier.”

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