CPS Sidhu ends fast unto death after 32 hours on Joshi’s assurance

  • Aseem Bassi, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Aug 16, 2015 20:57 IST
Local bodies minister Anil Joshi offering juice to chief parliamentary secretary Navjot Kaur Sidhu at Bhandari Bridge in Amritsar on Sunday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

Chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) and BJP MLA from Amritsar East Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu ended her fast unto death against the state government in 32 hours after local bodies minister Anil Joshi went to the dharna venue — the Bhandari Bridge — and announced that tenders worth Rs 10 crore for development works in Dr Sidhu’s constituency, would be floated immediately.

Dr Sidhu had met chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in this regard recently and had been assured that the tenders would be floated soon.

Joshi, also a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Amritsar North, went to the Bhandari Bridge at around 6pm on Sunday and told Dr Sidhu that tenders for development work worth Rs 5 crore had already been floated and paper work for the remaining Rs 5 crore would be done on Monday.

“Advertisements for tenders would appear in newspapers on Wednesday,” Joshi said.

At this, Dr Sidhu announced that she was withdrawing her fast unto death. The protest that began on Saturday had drawn in several party workers and supporters from the nearby areas of Guradspur and Batala.

Dr Sidhu still criticises Badal

Continuing the criticism of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Dr Sidhu claimed that her repeated pleas to launch tenders worth Rs 10 crore for her constituency had been ignored.

“I met Badal on several occasions, but he just gave me assurances. He has called me his daughter on several occasions, but now it seems to me that all this …has no meaning for him.”

She claimed, “Anil Joshi has called me his sister today. I feel that he has done his duty by coming forward and making the announcement on his own. However, Badal has failed.”

“I will just say that the time has come for the BJP in Punjab to get its act together and all party leaders should support each other,” she said.

Interestingly, Dr Sidhu had announced quite some time ago that she would go on a fast unto death from August 15, if she was not given the promised Rs 10 crore for her constituency.

Before starting her fast on Saturday, she had claimed, “Even after the meeting with the CM, the Amritsar Improvement Trust has floated tenders only worth Rs 5 crore. There is still on clue on when the remaining Rs 5 crore will be released.”

Meanwhile, claiming that he had arrived at the spot to support Dr Sidhu, Joshi said, “Nobody has sent me here. I have come on my own considering that the demand for starting development work worth Rs 5 crore is a small request. For this, I cannot allow my sister (Dr Sidhu) to sit here like this. We were committed to float tenders worth Rs 10 crore initially itself. There were some issues with the funds and thus the delay.”

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