No crowd, rain comes as a boon for SAD leaders
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Rain gods saved the day for SAD leaders, who found it hard to gather audience for the World Cup Kabaddi women's final match in Jalandhar on Thursday.
SAD ministers and MLAs were asked to bring at least 2,000 spectators each to the Guru Gobind Singh Stadium, Jalandhar, for the final match. Bus operators rued that their buses were hired by Akali leaders to ferry people from villages for the match, in lieu of 20 litres of diesel per bus with no hiring charges.
The women's category final match was between India and Malaysia. A match to determine the third and fourth positions was also to be played on Thursday. However, due to rain, the final match was delayed by an hour, and began around 7.30 pm.
The ministers failed to gather even 2,000 people, as from villages like Authaula and Kohala only four to five people turned up. Buses ran empty from Bulandpur and Patra villages. However, leader did manage to gather a few students from nearby schools.
"No one was willing to come to Jalandhar to watch the match. Owing to the showers, we were required to fill only the stands that were covered, but even those stands were not completely occupied," an Akali leader said requesting anonymity.
"Our buses were hired on Wednesday night without paying us a fee. We did provide the buses with drivers. The government has promised us only 20 litres of diesels, but this will not be sufficient to bear the expenses," a bus operator said.
SAD leaders from Jalandhar hired 130 buses.
Sukhbir gives match a miss
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, who was to reach the venue in a chopper, gave the match a miss citing bad weather. "Why could not Sukhbir travel by road, as it would have not taken him more than two to three hours to reach Jalandhar?, an Akali leader rued. Sukhbir wanted to make it a big show, and the district administration was put on toes for the whole week. "Despite his efforts, people were not ready to watch the match," a senior officer said.
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