In another attempt to win over the rural vote bank for the upcoming general elections, union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Monday endorsed the demands of the locals to make Jagraon, a tehsil of Ludhiana, as an independent district of Punjab.
Though this demand has been raised by many social organisations of the region on different occasions, Tewari took the lead in raising the issue again, just a few months before he contests for the Ludhiana parliamentary seat of which Jagraon is a part. Jagraon at present has the status of a sub-division of Ludhiana district.
"Jagraon is a historical city with over three centuries\' old history, besides it is an important religious centre as well. Jagraon is fit to be given the status of district, when much smaller places have been elevated to district status by the state government," said the minister, while addressing a series of meetings in Jagraon assembly segment on Friday.
He referred to the historical and religious importance of the town, particularly the holy and historic Nanaksar Gurdwara, and the famous Jain temple thronged by thousands of people from all over the state.
Tewari argued that the district status to Jagraon would also benefit a vast area surrounding it, including several surrounding towns like Raikot and Nakodar to name a few, adding that state government had already made Jagraon a police district to facilitate smooth functioning of the police department.
"If Jagraon gets revenue district status, people will be immensely benefitted as they will not have to rush to Ludhiana for various works," he said.
"The purpose is to provide all administrative facilities at the district level to people as close as possible. I will put up a case with the state government also, hoping that it will understand and appreciate the need for granting district status to Jagraon for its history and geography," Tewari said.
He hoped that the state government realised the need of granting district status to Jagraon as it did in case of some other places.
"At those places the decisions were more driven by political compulsions, but in Jagraon it is the need of the hour and a long-pending demand of the people of this historical town," he remarked.
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