The Tikku, Bittu and Danny of Punjab politics


Chandigarh : That Punjab is a colourful state with vibrant people is known. Equally colourful are the suffixes and pet names that some politicians are known by, even in public life.

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Raninder Singh, son of Congress leader and former chief minister Amarinder Singh, is better known in political circles as ‘Tikku’.

Given his erstwhile royal status, he being the 13th descendant of the Patiala royal family, and his father’s clout in state politics, Raninder is referred to as ‘Tikku ji’ (ji is for respect) even by Congress leaders.

Raninder is the Congress candidate for the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat. Punjab will go to the polls for its 13 Lok Sabha seats May 7 and 13.

Amarinder Singh is usually called ‘Maharaja Saab’ by Congressmen and others though royal titles were abolished four decades ago. His wife and Patiala MP Preneet Kaur is referred to as ‘Maharani Saab’.

There are others in Punjab’s political fray who use their pet names as a suffix to their names.

Congress newcomers in the electoral fray, Ravneet Singh ‘Bittu’ and Sukhwinder Singh ‘Danny’, are two examples. The Congress has fielded them respectively from the Anandpur Sahib and Faridkot constituencies.

One common pet name given to flamboyant sons of Punjab politicians is ‘Kaka ji’.

Deputy Chief Minister and Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal is still called by that name, including by his father and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Among the legislators in Punjab, there is Lov Kumar ‘Goldy’ from Garhshankar, ‘Kaka’ Randeep Singh from Nabha and Harminder Singh ‘Jassi’ from Bathinda.

Another legislator, Sukhpal Singh from Ferozepur, is better known to people as ‘Nannu’.

Punjab’s Transport Minister and Pathankot legislator is known as ‘Master’ Mohan Lal. He had been a teacher earlier.

Most other politicians in the state prefer to use the names of their villages to give themselves a distinct identity.