Tribune News Service
Dera Baba Nanak , Sept 20
Whenever newly elected Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa is with his near and dear ones, he often recounts the legend of Greek mythological creature Icarus — the one who flew too close to the sun and burnt his wings.
Unlike Icarus, I always work within my limitations. At times, I have been short of funds, but nevertheless, I have not let development suffer in my area. I have now brought in two mega projects in Kalanaur, which is part of my Assembly seat. These are a government college and the Rs45 crore state-of-the-art Guru Nanak Dev Sugarcane Research and Development Institute. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, newly appointed Dy CM
“Unlike Icarus, I always work within my limitations. At times, I have been short of funds, but nevertheless, I have not let development suffer in my area. I have now brought in two mega projects in Kalanaur, which is part of my Assembly seat. These are a government college and the Rs45 crore state-of-the-art Guru Nanak Dev Sugarcane Research and Development Institute (GNDSRDI). It has been modelled on the lines of one of Asia’s premier sugarcane institute —Pune-based Vasantdada Sugarcane Institute (VSI). I personally went to Pune with my team of officials last year to study its working. This venture will give employment to hundreds of youth hailing from my area,” he said.
Once funds were allocated, difficulties arose on identifying land for the prestigious sugarcane project. Randhawa says he managed to convince the Kalanaur Panchayat to earmark 100 acres out of the 1,600 acres lying vacant with it.
“Not many eyebrows were raised as the venture was seen as a major developmental initiative that will provide employment opportunities through allied units,” he said.
Observers recall how during the construction of the Kartarpur Corridor, farmers refused to let the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) acquire their agricultural land and how Randhawa played the role of a negotiator.
“He took up the farmers’ cause with the NHAI through the local SDM. In one instance, he even managed to convince a farmer whose land holdings were located just close to where the Integrated Check Post (ICP) was to come up to give his land for free. He brought a truce between farmers and the NHAI. Had he not intervened, the Corridor project could not have taken off,” said Rachpal Singh, an agriculturist.
Supporters led by Kamaljeet Singh Tony of Talwandi Rama village are planning a massive celebration, when the Deputy CM arrives at his native village of Dharowali this Saturday. Tony is a long-time loyalist of Randhawa family and manages all their affairs — political and social — in the area. He said he had also brought in several developmental initiatives for Dera Baba Nanak town in the wake of the construction of Kartarpur Corridor.
“The state government sanctioned Rs172 crore to beautify the town. A new 500-metre long heritage street was established on the lines of one near Golden temple,” he said.
Randhawa started his political career with a loss in the 1997 Assembly elections from the Fatehgarh Churian seat. In 2002, he defeated Nirmal Singh Kahlon to make his debut in the Vidhan Sabha. In 2007, he lost the seat to Kahlon. Later, after the delimitation exercise, a new seat of Dera Baba Nanak was carved out. Dharowali falls in this seat. He won the 2012 and 2017 elections on both occasions defeating Akali strongman Sucha Singh Langah.
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