On the offensive, local member of Parliament Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has appealed to Amritsar's people to get together on the issue of city's diverted funds, on Saturday advised the state government to "stop building castles in the air and show urgency to complete the pending projects".
"Use the money lying in Amritsar Improvement Trust," Sidhu told HT. The MP had targeted the state government recently over delayed projects. "The state government is promising thousands of crores of rupees for Amritsar and a major facelift in two years. I'll be the happiest person, if it happens; but before that, the government should complete the pending projects by using Rs 100 crore of the AIT," the cricketer-turned-politician added.
The MP asked the state government to explain to people why projects such as multipurpose sports complex, hi-tech surveillance, city bus service, and Bhandari Bridge widening were yet to be executed. "The state government talks a lot when it comes to Amritsar but the reality is different. Today, Amritsar is rich in ambition but poor in condition. I want to ask the government which major projects it has implemented for the holy city in past six years," he added.
Sidhu said certain people were insecure that he might get credit but he would request them to come out of this attitude and work together for Amritsar, where lakhs of people come everyday to pray (at Harmandar Sahib). Replying to a question, the MP said: "It is very clear that there is a mechanism to ignore Navjot Singh Sidhu. I have tolerated a lot and never said a word but there is a limit to everything."
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, in the past, had promised to change the face of Amritsar in two years and said a lot of money had been set aside for the city's development, yet the MP had said recently tha he felt like an opposition MP in Punjab. "Today, the city has depleted roads, choked sewerage and many other civic issues," said the MP, adding taht it was the duty of the state government to address these issues with urgency.
"How can they use the funds of Amritsar for other cities?" said Sidhu, adding: "I never sought a ticket for myself, and this time as well, it is the party that has to decide."