Even as the recent 31-hour-long hunger strike by Amritsar BJP MLA from Amritsar (east) assembly constituency and chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Navjot Kaur Sidhu caused embarrassment to the Punjab government, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal expressed solidarity with her and assured her to give more funds for her constituency, if sought.
Sidhu, who had accused the state government of ignoring the development of her constituency, called off her hunger strike on Sunday evening only after the government sanctioned Rs 10 crore as demanded by her.
Badal said, "If Sidhu seeks more funds for her constituency, then her demand would be considered." However, Badal, who was on a whirlwind tour of Muktsar district on Tuesday, refuted the allegations of preferential treatment to any city or constituency of the state.
"The SAD-BJP alliance government has been sincerely working to ensure the overall development and growth in every nook and corner of the state without any prejudice or regional disparity," Badal asserted.
Meanwhile, terming the inclusion of Punjab under the Prime Minister Adarsh Gram Yojana, a 'well-deserved' gift to the state, Badal appreciated efforts of the NDA government to transform the fate of the Dalit population in the state, while at the same time, he condemned the UPA government for deliberately ignoring the state during their tenure.
"I had personally raised this issue with the UPA government a number of times, but no heed was paid towards this genuine demand of the state government. The states with far less Dalit population than Punjab were reaping the benefits of this scheme during the UPA regime but injustice was done to Punjab," Badal stated.
Expressing gratitude to the NDA government, Badal said with Punjab having the highest population of scheduled castes across the country, this scheme would go a long way in providing the basic infrastructural facilities such as pavement of streets and peripheral roads, solar streetlights, hand pumps, toilets, water supply and sewerage in villages across the state.
"In Muktsar district, having the largest concentration of SC populace, 50 villages have been chosen under this scheme," he said. Meanwhile, Badal also held sangat darshans in villages of Tappa Khera, Deon Khera, Fatehpur Mannia, Arniwala, Phulu Khera, Sheranwala and Tarmala.