In an apparent show of strength, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA from Jalandhar Cantonment and former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh, who was in news for turning down turning down the post of chief parliamentary secretary (CPS), visited his constituency on Sunday where he got a hero’s welcome.
Local Akali leaders, including village sarpanches, showed solidarity with him former full-back of the nation’s hockey team for sticking to his against his party and the government for not allowing a solid waste treatment plant at Jamsher village.
The function was organised at the proposed site for the waste management project in Jamsher. Of the 64 panchayats in the Jalandhar Cantonment constituency, representatives of more than 40 panchayats attended the meeting and honoured Pargat.
“We have been demanding from our Baapu Ji (CM Parkash Singh Badal) that the waste management project should not be set up at Jamsher as it will have bad impact on our health. We had accompanied our MLA to government officials on several occasions against the project, but to no avail. As our MLA has not accepted the post of the CPS in protest against the project, we are duty bound to support him,” said Chitewani village sarpanch Kamaljeet Kaur.
Gyan Chand, a member of Punjab Commission for Scheduled Castes, said: “Pargat put his foot down and rejected the government’s move to set up the waste treatment plant keeping in mind our welfare. The government should respect this decision and cancel the project at Jamsher.”
Jalandhar Cantonment Market Committee chairmen Jaspal Singh said: “We are honoured to have such a daring MLA, who fights for the rights of the people of his constituency.”
Addressing the gathering, Pargat said he had rejected the post of CPS in protest against the waste treatment plant. The government never consulted the locals before deciding to set up a plant here, which involves health risk. “No post is important for me if the people of my area are not getting justice. I assure you, I won’t allow this project to come up here for which I am ready to make any sacrifice. You elected me your representative within 15 days, it’s a payback time for me,” said Pargat.
The MLA said he had never expected such a rousing welcome. “Such a huge support has only added to my confidence to fight against the waste plant. For me, people of my constituency matter the most,” he added.