Minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur will lay the foundation stone of the Rs 65-crore project for sewage and water treatment plant here on Thursday, a day ahead of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal is scheduled to lay the stone.
The Congress move comes a week after the deputy chief minister had laid the foundation stone of the Rs 30-crore railway over-bridge at the railway crossing near DMW Colony, a project cleared by the union railway minister. At that time, the Congress had cried foul.
The sewage project has been sanctioned by the union urban development ministry. While 80% grant will be given by the Centre, the state will incur 20% cost. Sukhbir is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the project on his© whirlwind tour on February 28, when he will lay foundation stones of several projects in Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib districts.
Ironically, with the elections approaching, the war of taking the credit for various development works has started between the rival political parties.
Nabha is a stronghold of the Congress and the party does not want to let the SAD take credit for the central project. In the 2012 assembly elections, Congress's Sadhu Singh Dharamsot had won the seat by 22,000 votes, which speaks volumes about its hold in the erstwhile royal state.
"The Congress won't allow the SAD to take credit for the central project. I, along with MP Preneet Kaur, held several meetings to clear the project from the union urban development department. And now when it has been sanctioned; Sukhbir, who has no contribution in it, is coming to lay the foundation stone, which we won't allow," said MLA Dharamsot, announcing that Preneet would lay the foundation stone on February 27 and address a meeting.
The Congress has also put up a large number of hoardings to take credit for the project, a long-pending demand of the locals.
Akali constituency in-charge Makhan Singh Lalka said that having failed to bring any major project, Preneet was taking credit for someone else's work. "It is the state government that conducted the survey and prepared a detailed project report that was sanctioned by the union ministry," he said.
He said the SAD-BJP would go ahead with the scheduled programme and the deputy chief minister would lay the foundation stone to make people aware as to who was responsible for the project.