Using the inauguration ceremony of FM Gold station of Prasar Bharti as a political platform, Ludhiana MP and union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Friday virtually announced the poll bugle for polls, scheduled early next year.
An astute politician, Tewari cleverly used the occasion to list out his achievements and his contribution for the development of Ludhiana and told residents that the time has come when they have to take the final call by analysing as to who brought development in city.
Setting the ball rolling amid confusion over candidature in the opposition SAD camp from Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat, the first time MP from Ludhiana, in his inauguration speech, listed his major contribution in city's development and put before residents a detailed account of his achievements during his tenure as Ludhiana MP.
His lists of achievements, include brining FM Gold, provision of Rs. 100 crore for laying various link roads under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna, air service connectivity to Ludhiana in 2010, providing Rs. 65 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) through the union government for running a fleet of 40 buses and spending Rs. 11 crore for various development works in district Ludhiana under his MP Local Area Development Scheme.
He claimed that because of his efforts, the Planning Commission had given Rs. 50 crore to the state government for cleaning project of the Budha Nullah saying that another Rs. 16 crore were released to the state government by the union environment ministry, but the state government not only failed to contribute its own matching share of Rs. 50 crore, but even spent the central funds elsewhere.
"SAD leaders are asking me to come over debate, for my contribution in development. But they are the same leaders, who had provided hurdles in the development of city. When they come and ask you to vote in their favour, please grill them over their contribution," Tewari said to the audience.
Over the expansion of air services between Ludhiana and Delhi, the local MP said that because of the SAD government the air services could not be further strengthened as non-provision of other required infrastructure had to be provided by the Punjab government.
"Before winning elections in 2009, when I was not the MP, I got a number of projects for the city. My developments, achievements are before you. Now, you have to decide," he said.
However, the SAD strongly reacted to Tewari's claim over how he launched the FM Gold in Ludhiana.
Revenue minister Bikram Majithia said: "Can this FM, increase the agricultural inputs of Punjab or can this FM bring development in Ludhiana? Actually, Tewari is a failure as Ludhiana MP. He could have brought special packages to bail out crisis, which has hit the industry in Ludhiana or Punjab."