Thursday, January 6, 2011

Demand for district status :: MLA goes on indefinite fast

Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Fazilka, January 5
Local BJP MLA Surjit Jiyani and SAD circle president Charan Singh,
along with their supporters, today started an indefinite fast in front
of Clock Tower chowk here to press the government to accord the
district status to this border town.

This is for the first time that an MLA from the ruling alliance has
taken such an extreme step for getting the demand accepted. The fast
is the second phase of the agitation that was launched by the Sanjha
Morcha, Fazilka, on August 15 last year by starting a chain fast.

To express solidarity with the protesting leaders, all commercial
establishments, including chemist shops, remained closed on a call
given by the Beopar Mandal, Fazilka. The town will observe a complete
bandh tomorrow also.

Kin and members of the families of Jiyani and Charan Singh were with
them when they formally started fast after addressing a huge gathering
at the venue. Other prominent leaders of the area were also present on
the occasion.

Jiyani said he was ready to make any sacrifice to get the district
status for Fazilka, which had been denied to it by the successive
state governments.

Stating that he has urged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to accept the genuine demand
of residents of Fazilka and its surrounding areas, Jiyani said he
would abide by the decision that would be taken in connection with him
by the Sanjha Morcha.

Charan Singh said the fast unto death was not against the Punjab
Government but it was for getting the district status for Fazilka.

Meanwhile, two rounds of talks that CM Parkash Singh Badal held with
Jiyani through Deputy Commissioner KK Yadav urging him (Jiyani) to
discuss the issue by sitting across the table in Chandigarh failed to
yield any positive result.

The CM has asked SAD and BJP leaders of Abohar, Fazilka and Jalalabad
to come to Chandigarh and discuss the issue. Sushil Gumber, convener
of the Sanjha Morcha, said a meeting of members of the morcha would be
held tonight or tomorrow to discuss the offer of the government and
take decision accordingly. He said indefinite fast by Jiyani and
Charan Singh would continue.

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