PUNJAB CHIEF Minister Captain Amarinder Singh will not be attending the programme in memory of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on March 23. Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal will be the chief guest, instead. Incidentally, Amarinder used to attend the programme, known as martyrdom day, during his previous stint as CM from 2002-2007. Even in Khatkar Kalan, the place where Bhagat Singh lived, Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh will be the chief guest.
For the past 10 years, former CM Parkash Singh Badal had been regularly attending this function. And, in 2015, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Hussainiwala along with Badal on March 23. Meanwhile, the Ferozepur district administration has already geared up to make arrangements for this state-level programme. Apart from paying homage to the martyrs, a rally will be taken out in Hussainiwala to be addressed by Manpreet.
Additional deputy commissioner Shruti Sharma on Monday visited Hussainiwala to take stock of the arrangements. A budget of nearly Rs 2.5 lakh has been sanctioned for this programme. The same amount used to be sanctioned by the Badal government, too, for the function.
The only change, however, is that the CM would be absent. Hussainiwala is a place where martyrs were cremated and hence it became National Martyrs Memorial.
Apart from the martyrs’ memorial, a green belt is also located within the campus where a function is organised every year.
The previous SAD-BJP government had repeatedly announced that the green belt would be beautified along with the renovation of the children’s park on the campus. However, that has not been done yet. New rest rooms have been built on public demand though.
At the maiden function of Congress regime, people are expecting some announcements for the upkeep of the memorial. Sharma said, “All arrangements for the function will be completed by March 21. Like before, free train service will be available from Ferozepur to Hussainiwala on March 23 from 7.30 am to 7 pm.”
Besides, Naujawan Bharat Sabha, an organisation led by youngsters at large, has planned a rally in Turi Bazar on March 23, seeking heritage status of the building which Bhagat Singh had used as his hideout.
“The Sabha will demand that the building be converted into a memorial and museum to tell the future generations about our history,” said Jatinder Singh, state president of the Sabha.