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Badal condemns takeover of 7.5 acres of shamlat land worth Rs 90 crore for private hospital by Sidhu

Announces Commission will be former once SAD-BSP govt is formed and all shamlat land usurped by Congmen will be returned to the village panchayats)

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today said ‘shamlat’ lands were under capture during Congress government tenure with former minister Balbir Singh Sidhu facilitating forcible takeover of 7.5 acres of prime land in Barri village in Mohali worth Rs 90 crore at a lease of Rs one lakh per year for construction of a private hospital.

The SAD President, who also visited Bari village where a dharna was also held against the move along with former MP Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, said it was shocking that a 33 year lease had been signed for a piece of land worth Rs 90 crore after overriding the sentiments of the people of the area. “I have learnt that the entire gram sabha is against the move. The sarpanch even showed me a video in which Balbir Sidhu is seen pressurizing the villagers to facilitate establishment of the hospital”.

Mr Badal, who addressed a press conference on this issue here, said there were other complaints against Sidhu also. “This includes a trust headed by him in Balongi village purportedly for a ‘gaushala’ but which includes permission to open a banquet hall and other commercial activities over 10.4 acres of land. In this case also the land was taken on lease despite opposition from the villagers for peanuts”.

The SAD president said once the SAD-BSP alliance government was formed in the State it would establish a Commission to probe all the shamlat scams of Balbir Sidhu. “We will also cancel all the leases and ensure the land usurped illegally by Sidhu is returned to the village panchayats”.

Mr Badal also interacted with villagers from Aakdi, Sehra, Sehri, Takthu Majr and Pabra villages who told him they had not received adequate compensation for acquisition of their land for the IT Park.

Meanwhile Mr Badal asked chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi to shun photo-ops and start governing the State. He said the mismanagement of the Congress government was such that it could not provide DAP fertilizers to farmers in time. “During SAD led tenure DAP was brought to the State two months in advance”. He said similarly announcements were being made to provide compensation to farmers who had suffered from pink bollworm attack and Channi had even taken credit for the same through advertisements but no farmer had received any relief till now”.

When queried about the cat-fight which has broken out in the Punjab Congress vis a vis former CM Capt Amarinder’s friend Aroosa Alam, the SAD President said “it is the same Congress leaders who gave Aroosa Alam the most exalted status and vied with each other to get photographed with her”. He said the leaders should tell Punjabis why they had not exposed Aroosa Alam earlier and did not speak out against her for more than four and a half years”.