Dr Inderbir Singh Nijjar, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA from Amritsar South, became a Cabinet minister on Monday.
The medico-turned-politician is a baptised Sikh and also president of Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD), a more than 100 years’ old Sikh body which runs several educational institutions. He is the Sikh face of the party from holy city Amritsar. He is the fifth minister from Majha region of Punjab and second from Amritsar district.
Dr Nijjar (66) represents Amritsar South Assembly segment, which is both urban and Panthic constituency. In the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections, he defeated Congress’ Inderbir Singh Bolaria, whose family had not lost the seat since 2007.
AAP gave Dr Nijjar a second chance in 2022 assembly polls as he had secured around 27% vote share while contesting from the same seat in 2017 polls and kept working in the constituency. He found the party in his corner as he stayed away from the internal politics of AAP between 2017 and 2022 and didn’t take any sides publically. His steady focus on his constituency and voters stood him in good stead.
Soon after becoming MLA earlier this year, Dr Nijjar had also won the presidential election of CKD, an icing on the cake.
Out of a total of 329 votes polled, Dr Nijjar pocketed 243 votes in the election. He defeated CKD member Sarabjit Singh, son of former CKD president and former MP of Amritsar Kirpal Singh, who got just 85 votes.
Born in Ajnala, Dr Nijjar spent most of his childhood with his father’s sister and her husband, who was in the Army. His father was a science graduate, but a farmer by profession. A product of Punjab Public School Nabha, he completed his master’s degree (radiodiagnosis) from Government Medical College Amritsar in 1988.
Dr Nijjar had declared assets worth Rs 36 crore in election affidavit. This included Rs 5.7 crore moveable assets and Rs 30.3 crore immoveable assets.