Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today underlined the need for equipping the Border Security Force (BSF) and the state Police with the latest weapons and gadgets to combat the cross border terrorism more effectively.Interacting with the media persons on the sidelines of a public gathering after laying the foundation stones of multi level parking and new Municipal Bhawan here today, the Chief Minister said that Punjab was a border state due to which it was more prone to attack from across the borders adding that the recent attacks in Dinanagar and Pathankot were a testimony to it. He said that in such scenario the need of hour was to provide ultra modern gadgets and weapons to the state force and BSF, manning the international border, to check terrorism. “The Government of India must treat Punjab at par with North Eastern states and allocate liberal funds to modernize the state Police” added Mr. Badal.
Replying to another query, the Chief Minister said that Punjab was fighting country’s war against drug. He said that not even a single ounce of drug was produced in Punjab but because it was on transit route of drug supply so the state was battling hard to prevent it from being smuggled into the country. Mr. Badal said that Punjab was being defamed for no reason whereas actually it was acting as a ‘barrier’ to save the country from poison of drugs.The Chief Minister further said that the state government was making all out efforts for wiping out the drugs from the state. He said that the state government has been able to cut off the supply line of drugs to a lot of extent. Mr. Badal said that Punjab Police had cut the supply line of drugs and its peddlers have been put behind the bars.Asked to comment on Khadoor Sahib by-poll, the Chief Minister said that the SAD-BJP alliance was fully ready for this contesting this election. He said that alliance has already announced its candidate for this poll. Mr. Badal said that he was confident that people would repose their faith in the pro-people and development oriented of the SAD-BJP alliance in this poll.
Earlier addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister warned the people that some forces inimical to the peace and progress of the state were hell bent upon disturbing its hard earned peace. However, he said that SAD-BJP alliance would not allow these forces to succeed in their nefarious designs. “We are committed to follow the footsteps of our great Sikh gurus to protect peace, communal harmony and brotherhood in the state” added Mr. Badal.Taking the Congress party to cudgels, the Chief Minister said that Congress was again trying to bring the troublesome periods back in the state by pursuing its age old policy of ‘divide and rule’. However, he said that wise people of the state were well aware of these tantrums of the Congress and they would not fell prey to the false slogans aimed at disturbing the hard earned peace of the state.Coming down heavily on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Chief Minister said that it was just a ‘bunch of opportunists and defectors’ who have left one party or another to acquire power adding that when doors of all the parties were closed for them they had now joined AAP. He said that the sole aim of these people was just to vest political power in the state. “These defectors, who have been rejected by people time and again, have been frequently changing sides to suit their interests and they are least bothered about the state or its people”, added Mr. Badal.Listing the major initiatives taken by the state government, the Chief Minister said that due to concerted efforts of alliance government, Punjab was the today only power surplus state in the country.
Likewise, he said that Punjab was today leading the country in Healthcare and Education.The Chief Minister further said that the alliance government has decided to double the pensions given to people under the social security schemes besides hiking the honorarium of the Nambardars. Likewise, Mr. Badal said that in a pro-poor initiative to provide far better health care services to economically weaker sections of the society , the state government has decided to enhance the existing limit of free treatment in government and private hospitals to nearly 28.50 lakh blue card holders from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 annually under ‘Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Beema Yojna’.The Chief Minister further said that apart from this in case of accidental death or incapacitation of a head of registered family under this scheme, the affected family would get compensation of Rs.5 lakh. Mr. Badal said that all the farmers would be provided a health insurance cover of Rs.50,000 and an insurance of Rs.5 lac in case of accidental death or incapacitation of head of family. He said that a novel scheme ‘Mukh Mantri Tirath Yatra Scheme’ for providing free pilgrimage to sacred cities of Sri Nanded Sahib, Varanasi, Katra (Mata Vaishno Devi) and Ajmer Sharif has been started under which state government would organize free trains to these cities for the people from Punjab and also provide other logistic facilities to pilgrims.
Earlier in his address, state BJP Chief Mr. Kamal Sharma exhorted the people to vote for SAD-BJP alliance which was the only custodian of peace, communal harmony and development in the state. He said that the SAD-BJP alliance had dedicated the current year to development of the state and all the major towns of state would witness complete facelift in coming months.Earlier, the Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Som Parkash thanked the Chief Minister for gifting these major projects to Phagwara.Prominent amongst other present on the occasion included Chairman Markfed Mr. Jarnail Singh Wahid, Chairman Market Committee Mr. Sarwan Singh Kular, Mayor Mr. Arun Khosla, Inspector General of Police Mr. Arpil Shukla, Senior Superintendent of Police Mr. Rajinder Singh and Additional Deputy Commissioner Mr. Iqbal Singh Sandhu.