Punjab elections: Who is Bikram Singh Majithia and how he always manages to remain controversial

Bikram Singh Majithia was the youngest minister in the first tenure of the Parkash Singh Badal government between 2007 and 2012

Almost every day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been levelling allegations against Bikram Singh Majithia. In a press conference on Tuesday, he even promised that Majithia will be sent to jail by April 15 for “looting” the state if the Aam Aadmi Party wins in Punjab. But who is Bikram Singh Majithia?

President of Youth Akali Dal, the Youth Wing of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, Majithia is a Cabinet Minister in the Punjab government. He is a two-time winner of Vidhan Sabha elections from Majitha constituency in 2007 and 2012.

He has had strong political connections. His father Satyajit Singh Majithia is a former Deputy Defence Minister, his elder sister is an MP from Bathinda – Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and his brother-in-law is Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Over the past, he has been embroiled in several controversies. Here is a look at some of them:

Drugs racket: In 2014, Majithia was summoned by Enforcement Directorate in a Rs 6,000-crore international synthetic drug case. His name had surfaced in the case after Jagdish Bhola, a man arrested for drugs trade, alleged in court that the drug racket was being run under the minister’s patronage. He had also alleged that the police had full knowledge of such a racket. The summons to him is based on the statements of Bhola and Bittu Aulakh, a local politician from Ajnala, who was also arrested for links with drug smugglers. Punjab is infamous for drug menace and is a key poll issue in the state.

Distorting the Gurbani: The Punjab revenue minister was accused of distorting a hymn (shabad) of tenth Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh. He said so while seeking votes for BJP candidate from Amritsar Arun Jaitley during the last elections. He also reportedly asked the gathering to repeat it by raising their hands. The Punjab unit of the Congress had then urged the highest temporal seat of Sikhs – the Akal Takht – to summon the minister for his “blasphemous” action.

His high-handedness: Majithia had hogged the limelight as the youngest minister, all of 31 years of age, in the first tenure of the Parkash Singh Badal government between 2007 and 2012. In 2010, he was made the president of the Youth Akali Dal. But allegations against youth leaders, in turn, come back to haunt him. As per reports, he was increasingly seen in public perception as “a power drunk minister”.

When a shoe was hurled at him: A shoe was hurled at Majithia while protesting Congress MLAs threw papers at the Assembly Speaker in September 2016 during the monsoon session. The shoe flung from the opposition benches fell just short of where Majithia was seated.