M A I N   N E W S

Thermal plant stone laid
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal presents Anil Aggarwal, chairman, Vedanta Group, with a memento after laying the foundation stone of the 1980-MW thermal power plant at Banwala village in Mansa district
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal presents Anil Aggarwal, chairman, Vedanta Group, with a memento after laying the foundation stone of the 1980-MW thermal power plant at Banwala village in Mansa district on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Malkiat Singh

Banawala/Talwandi Sabo, September 2
A day after the Congress sounded the poll bugle with its rally at Lambi, the home turf of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) organised a massive show of strength at Banawala village in Mansa district today.

The occasion was the laying of the foundation stone for the 1980 mw Talwandi Sabo thermal power plant.

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, for whom organising the rally successfully had turned out to be a major challenge, left no stone unturned to put up the show amid charges of misusing official machinery.

Manpreet absent

The absence of Manpreet Singh Badal, finance minister, and Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, food and civil supplies minister (both close relatives of the Chief Minister), remained the topic of discussion.

  • BJP state president, Rajinder Bhandari, whose portrait was on the main hoarding on the stage, was not to be seen.
  • All roads leading to the rally venue were plastered with hoardings carrying portraits of Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal. No BJP hoarding was seen. On being asked, BJP Bathinda district president said this was due to the “shortage of funds”.
  • Harbhajan Mann, well-known Punjabi folk singer, presented a number of songs, which had people on their feet.
  • Despite the arrangements, a number of buses carrying people could not reach the venue due to traffic congestion.

Spurred by big crowd, he claimed that the party and its allies would bag all 13 seats in Punjab in the coming parliamentary elections.

In his speech, Parkash Singh Badal described it as the “biggest gathering of Punjabis that he had ever seen”, claiming that the rally surpassed even the historic anti-Emergency rally addressed by Lok Nayak Jai Parkash Narayan.

Badal said the number of people were more than at the party’s Moga rally.

In his speech, it was obvious that the CM was using the platform to roll out his election manifesto. He listed a number of projects related to installation of power plants, reverse osmosis (RO) units in villages, sewerage projects and oil refinery, as his party’s achievements.

Badal lashed out at former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, accusing him of “lacking in character and fond of leading a lavish life”. He accused the Captain of creating hurdles in the way of the state’s development.

Badal also distributed assistance for the development of villages where land had been acquired for the thermal power project. He praised the chairman of the Vedanta group, Anil Aggarwal, whose group is going to build the biggest thermal project of the state.

Sukhbir Badal presented a long list of ongoing projects and also those which were in the pipeline. He mentioned Adarsh schools, universities, safe drinking water schemes, sanitation and power projects as among the government’s achievements. He claimed that after the completion of the power projects, Punjab would have surplus power. He also spoke at length about the canal revamping project.

Lashing out at Amarinder Singh, the SAD chief said he had never met the common man because he was preoccupied with his foreign jaunts and his Pakistani journalist friend.

Earlier, Paramjeet Kaur Gulshan, member of parliament from Bathinda, and SAD (B) leaders like Captain Kanwaljit Singh, Manoranjan Kalia, Ranjeet Singh Brahmpura, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Balwinder Singh Bhunder addressed the gathering. That all were all in a poll mode was evident from their speeches.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |