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“This village has given many sons of the soil to Punjab who have made supreme sacrifices and thus I promise that our Smart Village project will kick off from Rode,” said Sukhbir Singh Badal.In a major announcement to woo Sikh radicals in the state before the polls next year, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Thursday visited Rode in Moga district, the native village of controversial Khalistan militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. He also announced that the ambitious ‘Smart Village’ project of the Punjab government would kick off from Rode as the village “holds special value due to its historical and religious importance.” He said it was a village associated with panthic values and its people have sacrificed their lives for Punjab and Punjabiyat’.”
“This village has given many sons of the soil to Punjab who have made supreme sacrifices and thus I promise that our Smart Village project will kick off from Rode,” he said. Sukhbir was invited to the village by Harcharan Singh Rode, brother of Bhindranwale who represented the village and told the deputy CM about their proposed development projects, including stuck sewage lines and renovation of a stadium constructed in the memory of Bhindranwale. Jaswinder Singh Brar, a village resident, said, “The Deputy CM has promised us that Rode will get special treatment.”However, Sukhbir also had to face protests as some radicals with black bands and flags stood at the venue protesting against the ‘desecration’ of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
He said a blueprint of the Rs-40,000 crore Smart Village project is ready under which various villages will be covered and provided concrete streets, solar lights and other infrastructure in next five years. Rode will be the first village to be covered under it, said Sukhbir.
He also announced a Rs 16-crore grant for Rode, he also announced that the village school would get an upgrade from primary to middle and the opening of a co-operative society branch here.