Chandigarh:) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the demand for declaring Batala as a district was already under consideration and a final decision would be taken after due consideration of various issues involved.
He had received a similar representation from another Congress leader last month and was looking into the matter, said the Chief Minister on Monday, in response to the demand raised by his cabinet colleagues Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.
Further, there have been some reports in the media over the past few days indicating that citizens of Batala have also publicly raised the demand for a new district to be carved out of their region, he pointed out.
The Chief Minister expressed surprise that neither Tripat nor Sukhjinder had seen the reports in the public domain nor deemed it fit to discuss the issue with him before shooting off a joint letter in this manner.
“Had they come to me and spoken about it, I would have told them that I am already looking into the matter, and would have even consulted them in this regard,” said Amarinder Singh in a statement, taking a dig at the two ministers.
Amarinder Singh said MP Pratap Bajwa had already demanded a district status for Batala, in his letter dated August 11 and had cited Batala’s historic importance and its connection with Guru Nanak Dev, who had married Mata Sulakhni in Batala in 1487.
The Chief Minister said he was cognisant of Batala’s significance to the state’s history and culture, as well as the public sentiment. He would discuss the issue with various stakeholders before taking a decision, he added.
His government, said Amarinder Singh, had identified 103 places in 79 villages and 24 towns, blessed with Guru Sahib’s visit (Charan Chhoh) during his lifetime. Funds had been allocated and efforts were being made to ensure development of each of them in different ways, he said, adding that a lot of thinking and consultation had gone into the process.
The Chief Minister further said steps were continuously being taken to explore ways to ensure the infrastructural development and progress of all historic towns and places in the state, especially those which are in any way linked to any of the Gurus.
He would do everything in his power to ensure that Batala also gets its due, he added.