Updated: September 5, 2021 5:34:32 am
Two rebel ministers — Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa — have sought an appointment from Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh while demanding that Batala be created as 24th district of Punjab “to honour the wish of the people” and “overall development of the area”.
In a letter to the CM, they said that Batala was a historic town but did not get the focus it deserved. The two ministers also demanded that the historic towns of Fatehgarh Churian and Sri Hargobindpur or Ghumaan should be made new sub-divisions of this new district.
“We have sought an appointment from the CM to take up the issue with him,” said Randhawa.
Amid the ongoing rift in the Punjab Congress unit, Bajwa, Randhawa and two other ministers — Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Charanjit Singh Channi — and several party leaders had declared rebellion against the CM, saying they have lost faith his ability to honour the unfulfilled promises.
The four ministers, who wanted the CM to be replaced, had even met the AICC general secretary in Dehradun last month.
Batala falls in Majha region and several members of the ruling Congress, including Rajya Sabha member Partap Bajwa and former MLA Ashwini Sekhri, are hoping to contest the 2022 Assembly election from there. Even Tripat Bajwa has been nurturing the Assembly segment.
In the letter, the two ministers pointed out that Batala was an important city of Punjab with which rich historical, religious, social and literary heritage is associated. Batala was the oldest city of state after Bathinda which was founded in 1465 and also the eighth largest city in terms of population where a municipal corporation was formed last year.
Stressing upon the historical heritage of Batala, they said, “Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Guru, was married to Mata Sulakhni in this city on July 8, 1487. Gurdwara Dera Sahib and Gurdwara Kandh Sahib are adorned in his memory. Guru Hargobind, the sixth master, also came to Batala to marry his son Baba Gurditta and in his memory Gurdwara Sat Kartaria is adorned in the middle of the city”.
The ministers said that Batala was an important city of the Sikh Empire after Lahore and Amritsar during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
They said that apart from the historic Kali Dwara Mandir and Sati Lakshmi Devi Samadh, near this city is the historic site of Achal Sahib where Achaleshwar Dham is adorned in the memory of Lord Shiva’s son Kartik. Guru Nanak Dev Ji also interacted with Sidhs at this historic place.
The ministers said, “From a cultural and literary point of view, there is no Punjabi across the globe who has not heard the name of the great Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar who affixed Batalvi to his name thereby adding to its eminence. The late poet is known in the literary field as Punjab’s Keats”.
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