After "failing to get time" from Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, chief parliamentary secretary Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu had to intrude his sangat darshan (public contact) session on Wednesday here to draw his attention to her constituency.
Later, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Amritsar East claimed that she had been trying to meet the CM for the past six months through her office in Chandigarh and had no other choice but to pay him a surprise visit. At Wadala Johal village of Jandiala assembly constituency, she had been standing in the general public's queue for a few minutes before Badal spotted her and offered her a seat next to him. However, she left immediately after handing him a list of demands.
Later, she told HT that in 2014, the CM had promised to give Rs 10 crore to her constituency. "But, so far, nothing has been paid. If Bathinda or any other favoured constituency of the Akali can get hundreds of crores of rupees, what is the problem with my constituency. My files aren't cleared for months but nobody is bothered. I am not a beggar but an elected representative of the people," said the CPS. Once, her husband, Navjot Singh Sidhu, then local MP of the BJP, had a similar grouse against the Badals.
"If the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is bothered only about own constituencies, let it spare the BJP just Rs 200 crore and see how we develop Amritsar," said Dr Sidhu, adding: "Badal Saab goes to villages and gives them crores of rupees; can't he see my constituency?" She said even deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal was yet to fulfil his election promise of Rs 100 crore to Amritsar East.
Asked why she felt her constituency was being neglected, she said: "I guess they don't want me to remain in politics. My grants are not released to keep my constituency underdeveloped. If my constituents are unhappy, they have a valid reason." Claiming that the CM had now asked for 15 days to resolve the issues, she said: "If he fails, I could go on a hunger strike."
A couple of years ago in a similar situation, her husband had also threatened to go on a hunger strike against the Badals.
Special grant for Amritsar's Ward 17 for sewerage, roads, water-supply network, and streetlights
Progress in the project to strengthen a drain outside the community health centre at Verka (On the CM's instructions, a chief engineer of the irrigation department had visited the site. A cost estimate of Rs 5.02 crore was prepared, and an estimate of Rs 25 lakh, later, sent)
Underbridge at Vallah and overbridge at Jaura Phatak
Beautification, boundary-wall construction, and lighting at 40 Khu in Ward 28 (Rs 5 crore was, earlier, promised)
Rs 6 crore for an environmental park along the Upper Bari Doab Canal (estimate was sent to the CM's office on December 7, 2013, but there is no reply)
Rs 2.5 crore for Mudhal village as sanctioned
Rs 10 crore for Amritsar East from Amritsar Improvement Trust (The resolution was passed in December 2014. Estimates have also been prepared. Roads were dug in anticipation of the grant that never came).
My files aren't cleared for months but nobody is bothered. I am not a beggar but an elected representative of the people
Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, CPS