Reiterating their demand of removal of Punjab local bodies minister Anil Joshi from the cabinet, the local unit of Akali Dal on Tuesday announced to stage a protest during the visit of BJP national president Amit Shah on May 2 if the BJP high command failed to take action against the minister.
The Akalis accused Joshi of favouritism and promoting illegal encroachments in the city, and urged Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to seek Joshi’s removal.
Holding a press conference on Tuesday, leaders of local SAD unit, who earlier too had sought the removal of Joshi from the BJP, showed a video clipping of encroachments, illegal hoardings and undue action in some areas to buttress their claims.
District SAD president Upkar Singh Sandhu said, “The minister is running the local bodies department like a private company and is not bothered about anyone else. There is a hotel on Batala Road that clearly violates the norms; there are illegal hoardings on Lawrence Road; encroachments are rampant in City Centre area; a toilet was demolished to make way for a shop; and in many such cases, no action was taken because the minister was saving them,” alleged Sandhu.
Sandhu, who was accompanied by senior deputy mayor Avtar Singh Truckanwala, said, “The working style of the BJP minister is not acceptable. We have video recordings of all such illegal practices and will file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the high court.”
“We request the BJP national chief to take action against Joshi and remove him from the cabinet. If no action is taken against the minister, we, along with city residents and activists of various Sikh organisations, will hold a protest during his visit to Amritsar on May 2,” said Sandhu.
“Roads leading to the Golden Temple are in shabby condition, but the BJP minister is not worried. He is only pumping in money in the Amritsar (north) constituency, which he represents” he alleged.
Sandhu also requested the CM to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the working of the BJP minister in Amritsar.
Sandhu alleged that there were many irregularities in the local bodies department and they all must be probed.
Not the first time
It is not the first time that the Akalis sought Joshi’s removal. Few months back, the Akali Dal had accused Joshi of misusing power and not bothering about the SAD.
At that time, Sandhu had said the minister was only worried about his own constituency and not other parts of the city.
I don’t react to such people: Joshi
Reacting to the charges levelled by the Akalis against him, Joshi said, “My agenda is development and I don’t want to react to such people. I don’t want to comment on what they say and why they say. People are very intelligent, they know everything.”