‘Anti-dynastic’ BJP celebrates Punjab’s dynastic rule

January 21st, 2009 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyAmritsar, Jan 21 (IANS) Till not very long ago, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) used to criticise the Congress for promoting the “dynastic rule” of the Gandhi family. Wednesday saw a different BJP as its leaders descended on this Sikh holy city to celebrate as ally and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal was sworn in as deputy chief minister in the government of his Chief Minister father Parkash Singh Badal in Punjab.BJP president Rajnath Singh, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani’s daughter Pratibha Advani, Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and Balbir Punj were in attendance at the event.

Former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah (Jammu and Kashmir), Om Prakash Chautala (Haryana) and Vasundhara Raje Scindia (Rajasthan), former union ministers Sharad Yadav and Maneka Gandhi and several others shared the VVIP dais as Sukhbir was sworn by Punjab Governor S.F. Rodrigues at a public function here.

Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and Akali Dal MP Charanjit Singh Atwal was also present.

Although Punjab BJP leaders had initially shown their resentment to Sukhbir’s elevation, demanding that a BJP minister also be made deputy chief minister, they put up a united face at Wednesday’s ceremony by turning up for the event.

“We are completely united in this alliance. It (alliance) is from the heart and not a political one,” said Transport Minister Mohan Lal, who is from the BJP.

Most BJP leaders chose to stay mum on the issue of dynastic rule.

“Everyone is promoting their children in politics now. The Congress started it. It may be wrong but you cannot help it now,” a BJP minister said.

Famous Punjabi and Sufi singer Hans Raj Hans, the Akali Dal candidate for the Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat, enthralled the gathering of thousands with catchy numbers - some of which were modified suitably to eulogise Sukhbir Badal.

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