‘I have reached out to every section of my constituency’
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‘I have reached out to every section of my constituency’

‘I have reached out to every section of my constituency’

chandigarh Updated: Feb 17, 2014 00:12 IST

Wwere your major achievements during your five-year term?
Whether it was inside or outside Parliament, I tried to live up to the expectations of my voters with single-minded devotion. In the Lok Sabha, I raised many issues concerning Ferozepur. In the constituency, I initiated development works such as a bridge over the Sutlej in Fazilka, which benefited 12 villages. From the MPLAD fund, I sanctioned 400 water tankers to as many panchayats to help them overcome water woes. Besides, my special emphasis was on giving grants to schools. I fought for compensation to farmers whose agricultural land is across the barbed wire along the India-Pakistan border. The Congress-led UPA government stopped the payment of `2,500 per acre as compensation to farmers which the NDA government had started. Now, the SAD-BJP government is giving `3,000 compensation per acre.

What’s it that you had wished to do as an MP but couldn’t? Why?
My wishlist is long. The indifferent treatment by the Congress-led UPA government towards Punjab became the major stumbling block in achieving what I wanted for my constituency. We must have industry in this border belt to help the local youth get employment. I wish I could succeed. But it was not to be despite my repeatedly pleading with the Centre. Another vital issue is of re-opening the Hussainiwala and Sulemanki (Fazilka) borders for trade and traffic with Pakistan. The Centre never heeded these issues.

Some people of your community (Rai Sikh) say you have been a disappointment as an MP.
Since I joined electoral politics and became an MLA in 1997, I have restored their dignity and prestige. Now, they are treated well and with respect. I have done everything possible as an MLA and MP to help them.

Will you contest again?
Of course! I am already in the poll mode. I am always among my people, trying to help them. I have reached out to every section of my constituency.

How has been your experience in Parliament?
It has been a great learning experience. The Lok Sabha is a great platform to work for the cause of people.

First Published: Feb 17, 2014 00:10 IST