Despite Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal cancelling the solid waste management project at Jamsher village as demanded by him in the past and hours of persuasion by Education Minister DS Cheema, Akali MLA Pargat Singh today refused to budge and did not take oath as Chief Parliamentary Secretary. “I doubt if the Secretary, Local Bodies, will shelve the project which already has the National Green Tribunal’s approval. I have nothing in writing to go by and to show to the suffering people of my constituency,” said the hockey Olympian.The move to set up the plant was vehemently opposed by local residents, who feared it would turn the place into a dumping site. Also, the MC had issued eviction notices to owners of dairy farms for paving the way for plant.The MLA from Jalandhar Cantt said had he been taken into confidence on the move to appoint him CPS, he would have told the party leadership that he did not want it. “What is the point when only a few months are left for the Assembly elections. I did not want to needlessly burden the exchequer with Rs 2.5 lakh-Rs 3 lakh per month,” he said, adding that he no longer aspired for the Sports Ministry. “At the time of my victory, I did want it, but not any more.
” Pargat was quick to dismiss the suggestion that rejecting the CPS post amounted to defying the party. “I am a sportsperson. I am straight and I have had the courage to speak my mind,” he said. On the buzz that he may join AAP or the Congress, he said, “All parties are good provided they provide a good platform to work”. Asked if he would continue to work for the SAD, he said, “I will be attending a Vidhan Sabha panel meeting in Chandigarh tomorrow. Today I met people of my constituency.” He claimed he had not been invited to yesterday’s meeting with the Deputy CM. “I did not get any invite. I was in Amritsar to pay obeisance as it was my son’s birthday,” he said.After administering oath to the six MLAs in Chandigarh, the CM, during his interaction with the media, said: “In a party, people are chosen and faith is reposed in them that they will provide good governance. No consent is sought.”On the need for appointing more CPSs at the fag-end of the term, he replied: “We have inducted young MLAs so as to give them experience in governance. This training will hold them in good stead when they take over as ministers.”