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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

‘I confronted Punjab govt for the people of Amritsar

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times   February 22, 2014
First Published: 00:04 IST(22/2/2014) | Last Updated: 00:06 IST(22/2/2014)

What do you see as the high points of your 10-year term?
Even though I was in the opposition and it was the UPA that was in power at the Centre, I raised my voice for Amritsar and its people. I pitched for various projects such as four-laning of NH-1 (Jalandhar-Amritsar), facelift of Amritsar airport terminal, fighting for flights, border issues, and raised the demand for heritage city status for Amritsar and freight corridor. I fought for the city bus service project, which people are using now. There are a lot of projects, such as solid waste management, in which picking of garbage started but later stopped due to some reasons. Other projects, such as CCTV cameras, widening of Bhandari bridge, sports complex and flyovers were taken over by me. Efforts were made by a few people to scuttle them and that’s the reason I launched the fight for the people of Amritsar. Now, these projects will definitely be taken up.
 
Your detractors say that you remained absent from constituency and went to the TV world.
I was here for almost nine years. I moved only when I felt that I had been sidelined and ignored. But when it came to the rights of Amritsar, I fought. Moreover, TV is my only source of income. Have other politicians left their business?
 
It is seen that some BJP and Akali leaders are against you. Is it not important to get their support?
In politics, it’s the people who matter and they know everything. Is raising voice for my projects wrong? If I confronted Sukhbir Badal, it was just for Amritsar’s sake. He is still like a brother and I respect him. People of Amritsar voted me to victory thrice. So, it was my duty to fight for them. Amritsar is bigger to me than any post or position. Moreover, in Punjab, the alliance is what the Punjab chief minister wants. If he wants me to contest again, I would. If he wants my sacrifice, I am ready to oblige him.
 
Are you interested in contesting the Lok Sabha polls? Why should people re-elect you?
It is the party’s decision. People of Amritsar have made me MP thrice and if I was not worthy, they would have thrown me out. Politics is my mission, not a profession. My agenda is clear. Till now I have worked in the opposition. This time, when the NDA is set to form the government, I can change the face of Amritsar. Getting special status for the holy city and getting completed all projects is my target.

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