Badal asks Rahul Gandhi to contest LS election from Bathinda

Sri Muktsar Sahib/February 4
Quipping on the probability of the former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s chances of contesting ensuing general election from Bathinda, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today dared that instead of shifting responsibility on any local leader, the Congress party should ask its national Vice President Rahul Gandhi to ‘test the waters’ from Bathinda Lok Sabha seat.
Interacting with the media persons during the Sangat Darshan of Sri Muktsar Sahib assembly segment here today, the Chief Minister said that they were least bothered about which Congress candidate contests Lok Sabha poll from Bathinda. He further said that the SAD-BJP alliance was fully prepared for giving a crushing defeat to the Congress party in the coming general elections.
Replying to another query, the Chief Minister said that the state Congress President Partap Singh Bajwa was lying on the issue of closure of Industrial units in the state. He said that Bajwa was misleading the people by issuing such irrational statements whereas no such issue had ever cropped up before them. Badal said that the state Congress President was habitual of making such baseless claims but the people of the state would not get swayed away with his such tantrums.
On media reports regarding the possible alliance between Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) headed by former Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the Chief Minister said that he was not aware of any such move.
When asked to comment on surge in the number of cases pertaining to the killing of Punjabis in Philippines, the Chief Minister said that the Union government must flag up the issue with its counterpart in Manila. He reiterated that it was the bounden duty of the Government of India (GoI) to protect the life and property of all the countrymen residing abroad. Badal said that they would soon take up this matter with the Union government.
In a big reprieve for the people residing in water logged areas of the state, the Chief Minister while addressing the gatherings in village Maan Singh Wala, Kaniawali, Gulaabewala and Muktsar city announced that the state government would commence an ambitious project to make Punjab a ‘Water logging free state’ within a fortnight. Divulging the details he said that a master plan worth Rs 3277 crore has been prepared by the state government to eliminate the menace of water logging from the state adding that in the first phase of ‘Project proposal for tackling water logging in the South Western districts of Punjab including Sri Mukstar Sahib, Faridkot, Fazilka and Ferozepur’, Rs 453 crore would be spent in the coming years for tackling this menace. Mr. Badal said that out of these Rs 453 crore, Rs 125 crore would be spent on cleaning of existing drains, construction of new drains, construction of mini bridges, water courses and others, for which the work would be initiated within the coming two weeks.
Reiterating the firm commitment of the state government to tackle this grave problem, the Chief Minister said that the work on this project would be started on war footing so as to avoid any sort of loss to the public and private property due to water logging in future. He said that due care has been taken to avoid the seepage of water from Rajasthan feeder and Sirhind Feeder for checking the water logging in these districts adding that a massive plan has been approved for the strengthening and upgrading of their banks. Badal also sought fulsome support and cooperation from the people to implement this ambitious project in true letter and spirit.
In order to tackle the traffic problem of the city, the Chief Minister also announced that the work on construction of Railway Over Bridge (ROB) on Jalaalabad Road would commence soon. He said that to be constructed at a cost of Rs 28 crore this ROB would help in streamlining the traffic moving from within the city. Likewise, Badal also said that the state government would soon spend Rs 4.50 crore for the construction of major roads of the city besides preparing a master plan to provide basic civic amenities to the local residents.