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Abrupt end to Sidhu’s demolition drive 

Jalandhar: Pressure from within the Congress and the Opposition seems to have finally worked as the demolition drive initiated by Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu in the city on Thursday came to an abrupt end on Monday.The decision came following an unscheduled meeting between Deputy Commissioner Varinder Sharma, Municipal Commissioner Basant Garg, Jalandhar MP Santokh Chaudhary, Police Commissioner Pravin Sinha and MLAs Sushil Rinku, Bawa Henry, Pargat Singh and Rajinder Beri.While the DC and the MP refused to acknowledge the meeting was specifically held for the purpose, the latter, however, said the demolitions were being stalled for now, pending a meeting with the Local Bodies Minister.This even as Sidhu and Local Bodies Director Karnesh Sharma had on Sunday asserted that the drive would continue as usual.The demolition faced opposition from various quarters as Congress’ Jalandhar-West MLA Rinku climbed atop a JCB machine to stop progressing dozers. Akali leader Pawan Tinu went to the extent of accusing the minister of sparing illegal structures in his native place Amritsar and deliberately starting the campaign in Jalandhar. Nevertheless, several illegal structures were razed across Model Town, Chugitti Chowk and at the city bus stand.

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