BJP national vice-president Laxmi Kanta Chawla on Thursday joined the shopkeepers holding protests against the proposal of Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) to remove shops outside the Jallianwala Bagh and the Golden Temple.
Wednesday's protest saw the participation of traders' associations dealing in various trades as well as workers of the Congress party and the masses supporting the cause of the shopkeepers.
Shopkeepers, who have their shops outside the Golden Temple and the Jallianwala Bagh, have been holding an agitation against the AIT for the past few days. Terming the proposal of the AIT to widen the road in the Ghee Mandi area as unwarranted, Chawla said that she had approached Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal in this regard.
The protestors, led by Chawla, plan to meet Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal on Thursday in this regard. "I stand by the public and the shopkeepers in their quest for justice," said Chawla. Stating that the proposal to widen the road from Jallianwala Bagh to Ghee Mandi dated back to the early 1990s, she said that this was no longer needed as the city now had an elevated road and network of few other widened roads.
Citing the example of four important temples in the country at Varanasi, Vrindavan, Kangra and Chintpurni, Chawla said that all four had narrow approach roads, whereas the surroundings of Golden Temple were quite wide. "This step of the government would prove to be detrimental for the masses, particularly the shopkeepers and traders, who have been running thriving businesses in the area for the past many years," said Chawla.