Sukhbir, Sidhu slug it out over village land auction in Mohali

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Sukhbir, Sidhu slug it out over village land auction in Mohali
© Provided by Hindustan Times Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal during a dharna against the sale of Barri village land in Mohali on Sunday. (HT Photo)

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday hit out at former health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu for “facilitating forcible takeover of prime village land in Mohali for construction of a private hospital”.

Participating in a dharna in Barri village, along with senior party leader and former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, Badal said shamlat lands in Punjab were under capture of the Congress government.

He said it was shocking that the government was planning to lease prime land worth 90 crore for 33 years at 1 lakh per year. “I have learnt that the entire gram sabha is against the move. The sarpanch even showed me a video in which Balbir Sidhu is seen pressuring the villagers to facilitate establishment of the hospital,” he said.

On the other hand, Sidhu said SAD only wanted to make headlines in newspapers ahead of the Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit on October 26-27, and scare investors away.

The former health minister said the land in Barri village was being leased for a world-class health facility. “But Akali leaders are blatantly betraying the interests of Punjab and Punjabis. Chandumajra has incited villagers against the land lease on flimsy grounds and now he had misled Badal to oppose the open bid slated on Monday, only to fulfil his narrow political interests and personal ambitions,” Sidhu said.

Sidhu appealed to the chief minister, panchayat department and district officers to go ahead with the open bid scheduled on Monday, keeping in view the interests of the state and to convey the right message to investors.

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