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Monday, April 8, 2019

Sulking Kaypee in touch with BJP?


Sulking Kaypee in touch with BJP?

Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7

Opponents of the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla within the Punjab BJP are reportedly wooing former Congress minister Mohinder Singh Kaypee. Denied the party ticket, he has threatened to contest as an Independent. 

The three-time Congress MLA won the Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat in 2009, but in 2014 was shifted to the Hoshiarpur (reserved) constituency where he lost to BJP’s Sampla. After Kaypee sent out signals that he was ready to join a party that allotted him ticket, a section of Punjab BJP leaders reportedly held backdoor talks with him on Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s bidding. Sources claim Kaypee has been invited to New Delhi by Jaitley — the meeting reportedly arranged by senior party leader Tikshan Sood.

With Kaypee also being approached by the SAD and the Punjab Democratic Alliance, a ruffled Congress reportedly sent Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa to mollify him but the meeting was ‘inconclusive’. On Sunday, Raj Kumar Verka, the Congress Amritsar (West) MLA, met him too. Kaypee could not be contacted despite several attempts. State BJP chief Shwait Malik denied any move to take Kaypee into the BJP. “I am not aware of  any such development,” he said.

Sampla’s nomination was opposed by the state leadership at a meeting in Delhi.  

Not surprising, Sampla, one of the tallest Dalit leaders in Punjab, chose to stay away from the ‘Daliton ki lalkar, phir se Modi sarkar’ function at Amritsar on Sunday.   During at least two functions recently, Sampla’s pictures were missing from the party posters, much to the annoyance of his supporters. If Kaypee joins the BJP,  Phagwara MLA Som Parkash and Rajesh Bagga, former head of the State Scheduled Castes Commission, could be out of the ticket race too.

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