Amritsar: BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday said he would go on a fast-unto-death from Saturday protesting against the stalling of disbursement of development funds for his Amritsar constituency, which was termed as "unwarranted" by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
In a press statement, Sidhu said, "I know what are my duties towards the development of Amritsar being an elected Member of Parliament. I will do my duty honestly without criticising anybody and without speaking against anybody... I will sit on a fast-unto-death from tomorrow (Saturday)."
"Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh has directed me to remain silent. But my duty towards Amritsar would never be stopped," Sidhu, who returned from Delhi today, said.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters on the sidelines of a foundation stone laying function in Mohali, Badal said Sidhu should not have taken this step as the issues could have been resolved amicably.
"It was intrinsically in his nature to treat leaders and workers of his party and even opposition members with full regard and respect," Badal said.
Replying to a query on the issues raised by Sidhu on diversion of Amritsar Improvement Trust funds to other municipalities, Badal said he had written a letter to the Local Government minister to furnish all details to the Amritsar MP.
The practice of diverting funds was in vogue since 1981 as an internal arrangement of the Local Government department for those civic bodies which were facing financial crunch, he said adding, proper procedures had to be followed and it had to be cleared by the Local Government minister.
There was hardly anything wrong or illegal in it, he added.
In Chandigarh, Punjab Deputy Chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, meanwhile, set deadlines for completion of all ongoing as well as new development projects in Amritsar.
At a meeting at Chandigarh, Badal reviewed the status of ongoing projects worth Rs 730 crore and new projects worth Rs 1,309 crore for the holy city, an official release said.
A total of Rs 2,039 crore has been set aside for development projects in Amritsar, it stated.
The meeting was attended by State BJP president Kamal Sharma and Local Bodies Minister Anil Joshi, Amritsar Mayor Bakshi Ram Arora and senior government functionaries.