Capt Amarinder tries to mend fences with old guard via Shahkot
The rally was organised to convey gratitude to the public for choosing Congress candidate Hardev Singh Ladi Sherowalia in the Shahkot bypoll, which helped the Congress to secure a two/third majority in the Punjab assembly.Updated: Jun 15, 2018 10:08 IST
With an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday at the thanksgiving rally for the Shahkot byelection victory shared the dais with the Punjab Congress’ old guard, some of whom had lost polls or are feeling neglected within the party ranks.
In what seemed to be a well-crafted move, former CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, ex-ministers Amarjit Singh Samra, Joginder Singh Mann and Malkit Singh Dakha were made to sit along with Amarinder in the front row. Also, Bhattal was called to address the gathering before the CM’s thanksgiving speech.
The rally was organised to convey gratitude to the public for choosing Congress candidate Hardev Singh Ladi Sherowalia in the Shahkot bypoll, which helped the Congress to secure a two/third majority in the Punjab assembly.
“The Congress is indebted to the Shahkot voters who ensured a sweeping victory for our candidate,” said Captain, who started his speech by listing the names of almost all the leaders present on the stage.
Interestingly, no cabinet minister was invited to attend the event, while just three MLAs — Sushil Rinku (Jalandhar West) and Chaudhary Surinder Singh (Kartarpur) and Rana Gurjit (Kapurthala) from the Doaba region in attendance.
Skipping the CM’s event, Jalandhar Cantonment MLA Pargat Singh was with local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was in Jalandhar to crack the whip on illegal colonies. MLAs from Jalandhar Rajinder Beri (Central) and Avtar Henry Junior (North) also did not attend the event.
“Many Congress ministers and MLAs are upset as Laddi in his speech has been giving too much credit to former minister Rana Gurjit, his political guru, ignoring the hard work of other leaders,” a senior Congress leader said.
Rs 2,140 crore announced to complete old projects
The CM on Thursday announced Rs 2,140 crore for the existing development projects in Jalandhar and Shahkot, including the work on four-laning of the Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur road (NH-70) up to the Himachal Pradesh border.
“Another Rs 1,000 crore will be allocated for four-laning of the Jalandhar byepass linking NH-70 and NH-71 from Jandhu Singha to Pratappura via Jamsher,” he said.
Amarinder also allocated funds for setting up three smart schools in Shahkot, construction of a rail overbridge on the Chougeti-Ladhewali road and strengthening of the Jalandhar-Jandiala-Nurmahal-Talwan road.
“Lack of funds will not hamper the development of Shahkot,” he said.
First Published: Jun 15, 2018 10:07 IST