Finding chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) for education Inderbir Singh Bolaria more of a hurdle than help in a struggle against a waste dump in his constituency, the Joint Platform of Mass Organisations (JPMO) supporting Bhagtanwala residents has dissociated the Amritsar South legislator from the cause.
However, the Sanjhi Sangharsh Committee of agricultural and farm-labour unions has said that Bolaria is very much part of its struggle. For stalling the inauguration of the work on the proposed solid-waste treatment plant, these trade unions plan a massive rally on January 1; and have threatened to move court, if Bolaria is kept out of the agitation.
Bolaria, who joined the protest of Bhagtanwala residents last November was sacked as Youth Akali Dal (YAD) Majha zone in-charge, since he had confronted the party leadership on the dumping issue. The people of Bhagtanwala wand the dump and the proposed treatment plant relocated to the city’s outskirts. This November, the Amritsar Municipal Corporation approved the plant proposal, finally, shattering Bhagtanwala’s hopes.
JPMO spokesman Jarmanjit Singh Batth said the decision to exclude Bolaria had come at a meeting on Sunday. “The resolution was passed under the aegis of Sanjhi Sangharsh Committee (SSC) president Nirmal Singh Nimma,” he added. The SSC denies it. The JPMO comprises 12 organisations, of which eight represent farmers.
Accusing Bolaria of giving political colour to the struggle, Batth said it had hurt the cause. “Bolaria failed to get the dump closed or relocated. The resolution to exclude him was passed in front of 21 members. Bolaria, who somehow got the wind of it, rebuked Nirmal Singh later and forced him to backtrack,” said Batth.
Describing the allocation of a temporary dumping site at Fatahpur and the subsequent resistance by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national secretary Tarun Chugh as “friendly match”, Batth said the rivalry between Bolaria and Chugh, had put the Bhagtanwala dump issue on the back burner. He added that the SSC must exclude Bolaria from the struggle, if it wanted the JPMO’s support. However, SSC vice-president Sandeep Kurl said the committee could not separate Bolaria from its struggle. “They (the JPMO) took our signatures fraudulently,” he said, adding: “We are rather inviting more leaders and political parties to join our cause.”