The Congress government in Punjab led by Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh on Friday (14 May) announced the creation of a new district of Malerkotla taking the number of districts in the state to 23.
Malerkotla being the state’s only Muslim-majority town and CM choosing a muslim festival Eid-ul-Fitr to announce it has raised discussions on increasing appeasement politics.
“Happy to share that on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, my govt 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,” he said in a tweet.
In addition to the status of the district, the state government also announced Rs 500 crore for a medical college, a women’s college, a new bus stand and a women police station in Malerkotla, reports The Tribune.
The CM said the sanctioned government medical college will be named after Sher Mohammed Khan, who had been a Nawab of Malerkotla.
Recalling the history of the former princely state, he said Malerkotla was established in 1454 by Sheikh Sadruddin-i-Jahan from Afghanistan and subsequently the State of Malerkotla was established in 1657 by Bayazid Khan.
According to the 2011 census, while muslims constituted 68.5 per cent of Malerkotla city, Hindus and Sikhs formed 20 and 9.5 per cent respectively.