Often under opposition attack on the drugs issue, Punjab Minister Bikram Singh Majithia and sitting SAD MLA from this assembly constituency dismisses the opposition’s “vilification campaign” as baseless and seeks to score a hat-trick seeking votes in the name of development.
Among other candidates in the fray, the 41-year-old Revenue Minister is being challenged by the Congress and the new entrant AAP on his hometurf Majitha, which lies nearly 20 km on the outskirts of Amritsar city.
As the high-stakes Punjab electoral battle also centres around the drug issue, Majithia finds himself under all-out attack by the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.
He is campaigning actively here and so are the Congress and the AAP candidate, whose posters are most visible in the constituency, though Majithia during the course of campaigning in Ropowali Khurd village here said some “outsiders” are trying to connect with people by taking the poster route.
In their campaigning here in this predominantly rural seat, both Congress candidate Sukhjinder Raj Singh (59),aka Lalli Majithia and AAP’s senior leader from Punjab, Himmat Singh Shergill (37),target the Akali leader particularly on the drug issue.
However, Majithia, younger brother of Union Minister and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal and brother-in-law of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, dubs it as a vilification campaign.
Lalli has twice unsuccessfully contested against Majithia from here, the previous time being as a Congress rebel.
AAP has evinced keen interest in winning the seat as the party convener Arvind Kejriwal has visited here for canvassing and is expected to come again before the campaigning ends.
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh has said he will order a reinvestigation into the drug racket case in which Bikram Singh Majithia was given a “clean chit” by the SIT if his party came to power in the state after February 4 polls.
AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said he will send the minister behind bars by April 15 for his alleged role in a multi-million rupee drug racket in the state.
Majithia dismisses the campaign against him as malicious.
“Its all a political gimmick, its a political rhetoric.
Why don’t they take the same thing to court. Your saying anything or my saying anything, how does that make a difference, who is going to judge that, the courts. Newspapers are on record asking for an apology (on what they reported on drug issue about him earlier),” Majithia told a visiting PTI correspondent.
Asked why does AAP and Congress keep attacking him on the drug issue, he said, “the courts will decide. Its been four years now, its a court monitored inquiry. The SIT report given is a court constituted SIT report. Will they decide above the courts. Are they above the courts, is there a bananarepublic,” Majithia asked.
All link roads to villages and main roads to the adjoining districts of Amritsar and Pathankot are concretised or re-laid.
There are ample streetlights and a rebuilt bus stand, says Majithia.
“Its all about development because this constituency of mine was a very backward constituency. So, whatever development you see here, which is before 2007, before that it was a sub-tehsil and now it has given sub-division status. You see these streets, you could not walk here, now they have all been concretised.
“We made nine power grids, there is round-the-clock power supply. There were number of houses which were not connected by road, these have been connected. The constituency has a population of over 1.5 lakh, but there was no development here earlier. There was no college, there is a college now which has been built. The stadiums have been built,” he said.