Malerkotla, Punjab’s only Muslim-majority town, 35 km from Sangrur district, will be the state’s 23rd district of the state, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced on Friday (May 15), less than a year ahead of the Assembly polls in the state.
Adjoining towns of Amargarh and Ahmedgarh will also be part of the new district, said the CM during an event on Eid-ul-Fitr on Friday (May 14).
The announcement drew flak from Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, who said the creation of the new district is a “reflection the divisive policy of the Congress.” “Any distinction based on faith and religion is contrary to the spirit of India’s Constitution,” Adityanath tweeted in Hindi.
Giving Malerkotla a district status was a pre-poll promise of the Congress. Amarinder also announced a ₹ 500-crore medical college, a women’s college, a new bus stand and a women police station in Malerkotla. “I know this has been a long-pending demand,” Amarinder said during a video conference.
In a tweet later, the CM wrote: “Happy to share that on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, my government has announced Malerkotla as the newest district in the state. The 23rd district holds huge historical significance. Have ordered to immediately locate a suitable site for the district administrative complex.”
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He recalled the rich history of Malerkotla, saying the creation of the new district will ease hardships of people in dealing with administrative problems. Initially, subdivisions of Malerkotla and Ahmedgarh as well as the sub-tehsil of Amargarh will be included in the district. The process of bringing villages under the jurisdiction of Malerkotla district will begin later after the conclusion of the census operations, he said.
The Sikh community across the globe reveres Sher Mohammed Khan, the former Nawab of Malerkotla, who raised his voice against the torture and bricking alive of the two sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, by the Mughals. Malerkotla is famous for its vegetables and badge-making industry, besides its poets and monuments.