Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Navjot Singh Sidhu(HT File)
Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Navjot Singh Sidhu(HT File)

Ludhiana CLU controversy: Punjab cabinet minister Ashu dares Navjot Singh Sidhu to prove his involvement

Civil supplies minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, who is being accused of helping a realtor procure CLU, says he has nothing to do with the property.
By HT Correspondents | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh/Patiala/Ludhiana
UPDATED ON FEB 23, 2019 11:25 PM IST

The long-standing differences between cabinet ministers —Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Navjot Singh Sidhu — have escalated over change of land use (CLU) granted to a housing project in Ludhiana. Food and civil supplies minister Ashu on Saturday dared local bodies minister Sidhu to prove former’s alleged involvement in the ongoing CLU controversy or initiate action against the official who had named him in an inquiry report.

“I have nothing to do with the property involved in the CLU controversy. It’s Sidhu who should explain how my name is being dragged. And if he (Sidhu) finds any merit in the inquiry report, he should report the matter to the CM and seek action against all, including me. But if my name is added with a mischievous intention, then take the official to task,” said Ashu, who was attending a function organised by All India Rice Millers’ Association in Patiala. Ashu and Sidhu have been at loggerheads for long over delay in development works in Ludhiana.

Ashu reacted a day after Sidhu said that “no matri or santri (minister or official)” will be spared after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) deputy leader in the assembly Sarabjeet Kaur Manuke raised the issue during the Zero Hour in the Vidhan Sabha on Friday. She termed Sidhu an “honest minister” and raised finger at officers and sought resignation of Ashu. Sidhu also said he had put a stay on the CLU granted to Grand Manor Homes, a housing project in Ludhiana’s Ishar Nagar area, which he said was obtained using “forged” documents.

When asked whether his name in the inquiry report was outcome of political rivalry, Ashu said, “Sidhu can explain that better.”

Sidhu pointed out that the application for the CLU was submitted on January 17, 2018, and documents attached were forged. He said the registry of the land was done two days later on January 19, whereas it is mandatory to attach the registry papers at the time of applying for the CLU. “This means that the applicant was not the owner of the land at the time of applying for the CLU,” he had said.

Sidhu has asked principal secretary, local bodies, to take stringent action against the officers guilty of willful disobedience of the orders issued by him on July 7, 2018, regarding keeping the matter of CLU approval in abeyance.

Ludhiana municipal corporation commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar and assistant town planner SS Bindra are under the lens for granting the CLU and Sidhu reportedly has summoned them to produce the project records.

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