Former minister and chief minister's political adviser Tikshan Sud has ruffled feathers by offering the Adamwal panchayat a chance to get the village merged in the municipal corporation after it was recently adopted by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha member Avinash Rai Khanna under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).
Within days of Khanna holding a 'khulla darbar' in the village to redress peoples' grievances and formally initiate development work in the village, Sud arrived with the new proposal. In the context of bitter political rivalry between the two leaders, Sud's move is being seen as a deliberate attempt to put his bête noir in an embarrassing situation.
Although he did not raise questions on the selection of the village under the SAGY, Sud reminded people that he had spent nearly `80 lakh on its development in his capacity as local MLA and cabinet minister. He thanked the Prime Minister for including Adamwal in his development plan and asked the panchayat to initiate process to get the village merged in the MC if they so desired.
Sarpanch Thakur Satvir Singh confirmed that Sud had come up with the proposal but said the panchayat was satisfied with the present status and hoped to gain from the SAGY. Sud could not be contacted but his close aide and district BJP president Shiv Sood said that there was nothing wrong in the offer. "We made this offer to panchayats of other adjoining villages also and told them they could get better facilities if they come under the MC, but it is for the panchayats to take the final call. We have not forced anyone," said Sood.
When reminded that Adamwal had been adopted under the national scheme, he said merger would be a lengthy process and villagers could avail the SAGY scheme in the meantime.
Khanna could not be contacted for his comments.