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Priority to restore Chandigarh’s ‘lost glory’: Congress candidate Pawan Bansal

Chandigarh | Four-time lawmaker and Congress’s Chandigarh candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal Wednesday lashed out at his rival and sitting BJP MP Kirron Kher, alleging “nothing has been achieved” during her tenure, and said his priority would be to restore the “lost glory” of ‘city beautiful’.

The Congress on Tuesday fielded the former railway minister from the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat. Commenting on the tenure of actor-turned-politician Kher, Bansal said, “It has been totally disappointing experience for people. Nothing has been achieved. Only superficial things have been done.”

He lamented that the ranking of ‘city beautiful’, as Chandigarh is popularly known, plunged from the third spot to the 20th in the ‘Swachh Survekshan’ 2019. “The city has lagged behind in every segment.”

“Massive efforts will be required for the city’s development,” said the 70-year-old leader, surrounded by supporters and friends who congratulated him on being fielded from Chandigarh.

Listing out his priorities, the former MP — who won the Chandigarh seat in 1991, 1999, 2004 and 2009, but lost to Kher in 2014 — emphasized the need for putting in efforts for development of the city, generating employment and making the city crime-free.

“My priority will be to restore Chandigarh’s glory lost during five years of the BJP,” Bansal said, adding working for cleanliness will be his another priority.

“There is also a need for employment generation by focusing on tourism and services sectors. Making the city crime-free will also be my priority,” he added.

Bansal also batted for metro train services in the city in order to address the issue of traffic jams. “Over 1.25 lakh vehicles come to the city from other states, causing traffic snarls and parking problem.”

Though the Congress reposed faith in old warhorse Bansal, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, the wife of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, and former Union minister Manish Tewari, had also staked claims to the ticket from Chandigarh, considered a party stronghold.

Navjot Kaur Sidhu expressed her disappointed over the Congress’s decision not to field her from the constituency, where she had already started holding public meetings in anticipation of a party nomination.

“I would have loved it if they had respected a lady trying to showcase her individual work,” she told PTI Wednesday.

Bansal on his part expressed gratitude to the party for giving him the ticket. “I will make endeavour to take everybody along.”

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