Ludhiana: With elections around the corner, the credit game is the only ball game played by Punjab politicians these days. And it doesn’t matter at all whether it is a rough tackle or the referee is showing the red card. All that counts is the ball in the goal for the public to see.
In the latest battle of one-upmanship, BJP leaders left the Congress workers shocked and surprised at a camp for physically challenged persons organised by the Congress party during the visit of state BJP president Vijay Sampla. The camp was organized to distribute artificial limbs and other aids to disabled persons on Tibba Road of Ludhiana East constituency.
The initiative was taken by Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu. Bittu announced that nine camps would be organised in Ludhiana parliamentary constituency from June 30 to July 8 and 633 tri-cycles, 190 wheel chairs, hearing aids to 1234 persons, artificial limbs to 144 persons, crutches to 392 persons, walking sticks to 66 people, Braille kits to 16 persons, smart canes to 17 persons, MSIED Kits to 118 students will be provided to 2,371 persons in these special camps.
At the camp on Tibba Road, the Congress leaders claimed that when the beneficiaries were being identified, the leaders of the ruling SAD- BJP were nowhere at the camp but when the artificial limbs were to be distributed the BJP leaders turned to gain the publicity. To begin with it was supposed to be a Congress function, the leaders said and they had already installed their hoardings at the venue.
The Congress leaders were surprised when union minister Vijay Sampla landed at Sahnewal airport and visited the camp along with local BJP leaders. Within few hours the hoardings and flags of BJP was installed at the venue.
As a consequence, arguments erupts between the Congress and the BJP leaders and matters were sorted out only with the intervention of Sampla and Bittu. It was also decided that apart from District president of BJP, Congress, Sampla and Bittu, no one else would address the function.
Speaking on the occasion, Sampla said that politics should not be a part of the function as the camp was organised for the needy people. Bittu said that he had first taken this initiative when he represented Anandpur Sahib Constituency and now this initiative was being replicated in Ludhiana. He welcomed the Union minister to distribute the artificial limbs to needy persons.
On their end, the BJP leaders complained to Deputy Commissioner Ravi Bhagat against Congress for installing hoardings. The DC, however, said that he too was invited to the function and declined to interfere.
ALLEGATIONS- COUNTER ALLEGATIONS
Ravneet Bittu, Member of Parliament
“I had earlier organized such camps in Anandpur Sahib Constituency when I was MP from there. For Ludhiana constituency, I have arranged camps to identify the beneficiaries in all the constituencies where more than four thousand applicants turned there. However, the initiative was taken by Congress party but I welcome the Union minister for distributing artificial limbs to the needy persons.”
Gurpreet Bassi Gogi, District Congress President
“Eight months ago, the Congress party had organised nine camps to identify the beneficiaries and also arranged pick and drop facility for the handicapped people. At that time no BJP leader came but now when the artificial limbs were to be distributed the BJP leaders turned up to get the pictures clicked. The venue was arranged by our party and the party workers have done all the arrangements. The BJP leaders were uninvited guests.”
Ravinder Arora, District BJP president
“The camp was organised by district administration and union minister and the artificial limbs were also sanctioned with the funds of the government. The Congress party have tried to give it a political colour and installed their hoardings to gain publicity. Our minister Vijay Sampla has maintained distance from politics from the camp and also announced to provide help to more beneficiaries. The camps to identify beneficiaries were organised by the district administration and the government and not by the Congress.”
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