With Union Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari sheduled to visit Jalandhar along with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Wednesday, the SAD-BJP alliance is all geared up for a show of strength. For this purpose, buses of all sizes are being confisticated against the wishes of the owners for ferrying party workers to the venue.
Gadkari will visit Jalandhar to lay foundation stones of various projects in Doaba region including 4-laning of Jalandhar-Barnala, Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur, Ropar-Phagwara stretches. The cost of 13 major projects will cost Rs 10,280.88 crore and would be laid at Jalandhar, Ropar and Samrala. Sharing their despair, a group of Mini Bus Operators Association said that only their buses are confisticated by the transport department and sent to rallies while the buses of Badals are never touched.
“Mini buses are mostly run by the marginal people. And whenever there is a rally or a big event our buses are confiscated,” said a mini bus operator. “Several private school buses are also being arranged for the purpose,” claimed another operator. Patron of the Punjab Mini Bus Association Surjit Singh Soeta when contacted said that majority of the members of the association have strongly flayed the government for this act and asked that why the buses of the leaders and state rulers are not touched for the rallies.
“We are not paid for this except that they promise us to fill the petrol to ply the buses to the venues,” lamented another operator adding that their entire days income would be killed.
On the other hand, the SAD-BJP leaders are also not happy with the orders by the high command which were given a couple of days back. “Earlier we were asked to arrange 40-50 buses each but when we expressed inability to arrange that so many buses at such a short notice, the number has been decreased to 20 buses per MLA and Halka Incharge (Constituency incharge),” said a SAD leader.