Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jiyani disappointed over attitude of BJP leaders

 Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Fazilka, January 7
Surjit Jiyani, local BJP MLA, who along with two other leaders is on fast to put pressure on the Punjab Government to accord district status to this border town, today expressed disappointment over the attitude of a section of the state party leadership in connection with the demand.

"Had a section of the BJP leadership taken up the issue connected with district status for Fazilka in the initial years of the SAD-BJP government, Fazilka could have been a district by now," said Jiyani while talking to TNS in the Clock Tower area here, where he is on an indefinite fast.

"I took up the matter of district status to Fazilka in the Vidhan Sabha time and again but it was ignored by those who were supposed to take notice of it," he claimed, adding that his fast would continue till the government accorded district status.

He declared that he had all respect for Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Manoranjan Kalia. He had great hopes from these leaders that they would respect the sentiments of the residents of Fazilka and its surrounding towns and villages. He, however, failed to come out with a convincing answer when asked why he had not launched an agitation in the past four years for getting district status for Fazilka.

"Going on fast was the last resort for me when all other channels to get district status for Fazilka were exhausted. I have taken this step against the wishes of my party leadership as I want to make any sacrifice for this," he pointed out, adding he would abide by the decision of the Sanjha Morcha, which had been organising the agitation.

When asked what would make him end his fast, he said an announcement by the Punjab Government that Fazilka would be elevated to a district in a fixed time period would be adequate for ending the agitation.

He claimed the elevation of Fazilka to a district was on the agenda of the BJP leadership before last Assembly elections but the demand could not be pursued in a proper manner by a section of the party leadership.

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