After waiting for over three hours, residents of village Chak Alla Baksh, who had gathered to tell chief minister Parkash Singh Badal their woes, got hardly ten minutes as the CM left the venue after assurance to proceed on his whirlwind tour of the border.
This village was not the only one. Residents of other villages also complained that the CM gave them a few minutes and instead of something concrete in this hour of crisis, he just gave them assurance.
Badal, who reached the venue at Chak Alla Baksh nearly three hours after the scheduled time, spent ten minutes with the people. It was the same in the adjoining village, Mullakot, where people were waiting for him since morning.
Some termed it as a mere formality and some saw this as an election stunt.
Sakkatar Singh, a villager, on being asked after the chief minister left, said: “We were waiting since the past three to four hours. People left their jobs to meet the chief minister but he just came for ten minutes and rushed away. It seems that he was here just for a formality.”
People here have many demands, politicians come and listen but nothing is done. We don’t feel that this visit of CM will change anything, he added.
Another villager, Sukhchain Singh said, “The village is right on the fence and people have numerous problems but I don’t think that this visit will change the scenario much. Seems like an election stunt.”
He added, “See the bridge that connects the village to the main road? It is so dangerous that even crossing during the day is scary but the government hasn’t bothered to make any changes.”
Villager Baldev Singh from Mullakot village said, “We were waiting since morning after being told that CM Saab is coming. But he came just for a few minutes and left. People are unhappy with this. There are many issues that the village faces and they should be solved rather than quick tours.
“We are just given assurances but we don’t feel things are going to change with assurances,” he added.
Notably, the chief minister, who visited eight border villages in Amritsar district, lauded the villagers’ bravery when he interacted with them. He also told them that they were asked to move back after the orders came from the Union government.
Badal told them that the government was ready for all help and even camps are set up.
Apart from other demands, people asked the chief minister for arms licences for their own security. He asked district commissioner Varun Roojam to look into it.
As the CM was told that villagers are facing issues to go their crop across the fence, he claimed that BSF has allowed it. However, residents claimed that they were still facing issues and permission was granted for very less time.
SIKH YOUTHS SHOW BLACK FLAGS
Mehandipur (Tarn Taran): Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was shown black flags at the border village of Mehandipur in Tarn Taran on Sunday. As soon he ended his address around 6.45pm, 20-odd local Sikh youths stood up from their chairs and started asking him why the government was not taking action against those behind sacrilege incidents. They also accused Badal of ordering the police firing on protesters at Behbal Kalan in Faridkot district on October 14 last year, leading to the death of two people. Getting no response, the youth started shouting slogans against the CM and also showing him black flags. They also threw these flags on Badal’s car when he was leaving. The protesting youths were detained to be released later.