Even though, the Punjab government boisterously inaugurated much hyped sewa kendras (help centres) across state, the leadership of Bharatiya Janta Party, alliance partner of Shiomani Akali Dal, were not invited for the inaugural function in Bathinda on Friday.
The event, in which the centre was inaugurated by Sangrur MLA and chief parliamentary secretary Prakash Chand Garg in the presence of local SAD leadership including mayor Balwant Rai Nath and party councillors, caught BJP unaware as not even a single leader, including senior deputy mayor Tarsem Chand Goyal, or deputy mayor Gurinderpal Kaur Mangat had any idea of the function.
The whole episode left saffron party leaders fuming. “I only came to know in the evening that such district level function was held in Bathinda urban area. I had neither got any written invitation, nor any telephonic call either from administration or corporation office,” said Goyal.
He added that the BJP leaders were earlier ignored on many such occasions.
Once warm relations between the two party is now turning cold as the state assembly polls are nearing.
Recently, Mangat accused mayor Nath of ignoring wards of BJP councillors. Even SAD and BJP leaders came at loggerheads after senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor raised questions over giving work of laying sewerage and water supply lines to a private firm.
Moreover, Mohit Gupta, district president of BJP, said it was sorry state of affairs that SAD and district administration meted out such indifferent attitude with BJP leaders.
“Such incidents stood testimony that the local SAD leadership is not at all interested in committing coalition dharma,” he said.
Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Basant Garg, whose office extended invitation, could not be contacted.
Earlier, CPS Prakash Chand Garg inaugurated the centre in model town area. In Bathinda, a total 123 sewa kendras will be set up, out of which 34 have started operations in urban areas across district from Friday onwards. In the second phase, 89 such centres will be inaugurated in rural area within next month.
These centres will provide several citizen-centric services to people under one roof. There will be a single window system for services including collection of water and electricity bills, birth and death certificates, application of new power/water/sewerage connections, payment of property tax, request for various forms, arm license application, issuance of NoC for fire safety and several other services.