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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Infighting in SAD comes to fore in Patiala

Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times  Patiala, February 20, 2014
First Published: 21:27 IST(20/2/2014) | Last Updated: 21:28 IST(20/2/2014)

With Lok Sabha elections around the corner, the war of words between Patiala mayor Amarinder Bajaj and former mayor Ajitpal Singh Kohli is hotting up as both these young Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders are at loggerheads over the developmental issues.

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A day after Kohli questioned Bajaj's poor development agenda, Bajaj hit back at Kohli saying he does not need any certificate from the latter about the development works.

"I don't need any certificate from anyone. Let the people take the call on this matter. Things would become crystal clear after they will compare my performance with that of Kohli who had hardly initiated any development work during his tenure as Patiala mayor", Bajaj said.

The open war between the two leaders has not only exposed incompatibility between them but may also dent SAD's campaign for the Lok Sabha elections which could be announced shortly.

However, this is not for the first time that Bajaj and Kohli, sons of veteran SAD leaders Indermohan Singh Bajaj and Surjit Singh Kohli respectively, are locking horns with each other. Earlier also, Bajaj lodged protests against Kohli on several occasions during the latter's tenure as mayor from 2007-2012.
 

Irked by Kohli's comments, Bajaj said the major breakdown of the roads which were constructed during Kohli's tenure has exposed the quality of development works undertaken during the latter's tenure.

"Had they built these roads with quality material, these would not have broken down within a year after the end of Kohli's tenure", he said.
 
Regarding blocking of sewerage system, Bajaj said the people who have any doubts can come along him to see how sewer men are leaving no stone unturned to clear 'nullah', which was covered illogically under the Congress regime headed by Captain Amarinder Singh during 2003-2007.

On the other hand, Kohli said no development in MC jurisdiction has taken place since Bajaj took over as Patiala mayor a year ago from the then mayor Jaspal Pradhan.
 
"The development works and funds are only shown on papers and there is nothing on the ground resulting in poor civic amenities everywhere. From broken roads to poor water supply or sewerage blockage, the people are the real sufferers", he said.
 
Kohli said due to his incompetence and ineffective handling of MC affairs, Bajaj has put SAD in Patiala city on the back foot and this would adversely affect the prospects of the party in the parliamentary elections.

"Presently, we have an edge in the Patiala Lok Sabha constituency and can give strong competition to local MP (Preneet Kaur). But the lack of development in the area may act as the biggest hurdle and only Bajaj is responsible for it. He has failed to bring any major project to the city and is just banking on those projects which were initiated during my tenure", Kohli said.
 
 
 
Work orders worth Rs. 12.5 crore passed
 
Meanwhile, the MC has finally passed work orders of worth Rs. 12.5 crore during the finance and contract committee (F&CC) meeting on Thursday.

During the meeting, charired by MC Commissioner Parminder Singh Gill, the committee also gave approval to install four tubewells for better water supply in different areas.

The passed work orders included construction of roads in different wards in Patiala I and Patiala II constituencies, besides laying down of fresh water supply pipelines in different wards.

Expected to be the last meeting before parliamentary elections, the clearance of work orders may give some political mileage to the ruling party.

The civic body also passed estimates worth Rs. 2.5 crore for the development works to be taken up in near future.

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