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PB10X 1919; who inherits Beant Singh’s legacy?

Beant Singh is undoubtedly credited with finishing the Punjab militancy. Although the iron fist was wielded more by the then iconic Director General of Punjab Police, KPS Gill, than Beant Singh. 

News Arena Network - Ludhiana - UPDATED: May 13, 2024, 05:07 AM - 4 mins read

PB10X 1919; who inherits Beant Singh’s legacy?

Ravneet Singh Bittu filing his nominaton. Image via X.


It was about 29 years ago that the then Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh was killed in a suicide bomb blast by Punjab militants on August 31, 1995, in the Punjab Civil Secretariat, while he had just sat in his official car.
 

Beant Singh is undoubtedly credited with finishing the Punjab militancy. Although the iron fist was wielded more by the then iconic Director General of Punjab Police, KPS Gill, than Beant Singh. 

 

This could not have been possible without the categorical, unambiguous and unconditional political support that was provided by the late Chief Minister.

It was for this decisive and uncompromising will to finish militancy that Singh never interfered in DGP Gill’s work.

As a result, all good work in finishing the militancy was credited to the DGP Gill and all the collateral damage that happened during such operations, like the killing of non-participant and non-combatant people, was all blamed on Beant Singh.
 

Now after 29 years of a brutal assassination carried out by a suicide bomber, Beant Singh’s legacy is divided.

While in the past there have been many successors to the political legacy of the well-known Punjab Chief Minister, like his son Tej Parkash Singh and daughter Gurkanwal Kaur, it is now being carried forward by two of his grandsons, Ravneet Singh Bittu, a three-time Congress MP with the BJP and Gurkirat Singh Kotli, a former Punjab minister.

The family owns an old Ambassador car PB10X-1919. Beant Singh used to travel in this car during his political career, particularly during the militancy era. He survived many attempts on his life. This car is believed to be very lucky for the family. 

 

Everyone in the family used this car while going to file his/her nomination papers. So it happened on May 10, when Ravneet Bittu, now the BJP candidate from Ludhiana went to file his nomination papers. 

 

The iconic car symbolises the political legacy of the late Beant Singh and the attempts by his third-generation successors to inherit and own it exclusively.

Ravneet Bittu was perfectly propelled to own his legacy after Gurkirat had to face stiff resistance due to an old controversy.

It was Gurkirat who helped and pushed Ravneet to become the Punjab Youth Congress president for the first time in 2008. Rest is history.

 

He was subsequently picked up by Rahul Gandhi to contest from Anandpur Sahib parliamentary constituency.

That time Bittu, like many other Jatt Sikh youth was not turbaned. He started sporting a turban at the instance of Rahul Gandhi, as claimed by Bittu himself.

In 2014, Bittu was denied nomination from Anandpur Sahib and the party fielded Ms Ambika Soni from here. Bittu even staged a protest against the ticket denial. As luck would have it, Manish Tewari opted out of Ludhiana due to ill health. Bittu was fielded from here and he won twice.

Beant Singh's iconic ambassador.

 

Bittu got elected from Ludhiana, a constituency with a substantial Hindu vote share, twice. It was primarily because of being the grandson of Beant Singh.

This time, however, he felt his vote bank eroding due to the Modi factor. For the voters also, it would have been a dilemma to choose between Beant Singh’s successor and Modi. Bittu ended the dilemma by joining the BJP.

 

While he does remain on a firm footing and is counted as a strong favourite, he is faced with a tough challenge from his Congress competitor, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring. Bittu and Warring have been very good friends. The party fielded Warring, as he besides being the state president, is a combative fighter.

He is actually giving Bittu a run for his money.

Driving in his grandfather’s car to file the nomination papers may not necessarily guarantee him the permanent and exclusive right to his legacy. There are still three weeks to go when he will have to battle it out on the ground amidst much political heat and that of severe summer. 

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