Reiterating that Punjab has the sole right on capital city of Chandigarh, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said everyone knows that Congress party has done grave injustice with state by snatching our capital from us. Interacting with the media persons on the sidelines of state level function to observe death anniversary of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal here today, the Chief Minister said that there was hardly any parallel to it that the parent state has been devoid of capital as in case of Punjab. He said that despite of announcing the handing over of Chandigarh to Punjab in Parliament the then Prime Minister had backtracked from it. Mr. Badal said that not only this but even the state was also divested of Punjabi speaking areas and its legitimate share in river waters by the then Congress government. “Nobody can deny this fact that being the parent state Punjab has the sole right on its capital city of Chandigarh” he added.
Congratulating the members of Indian Olympic squad PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik for bagging medals for the country, the Chief Minister said it was a matter of pride for the entire country that both players had brought laurels for the entire country. However, he said that we all must introspect as why despite of huge population our medal tally was not impressive. Mr. Badal underscored the need for starting special sports courses to tap the potential of players at tender age to enable them to perform better. “We need to catch them young so that world class players can be produced”, he added.
On another query, the Chief Minister said that MLA Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu was like his daughter. He said that the allegations leveled by her regarding non execution of development works due to political interference were completely baseless. Mr. Badal said that these allegations were totally irrational as massive development was going on in the state. Earlier addressing the public gathering, the Chief Minister squarely held the Congress party responsible for martyrdom of Sant Longowal. He said that the Congress party had back stabbed Sant Longowal by not fulfilling the accord made with him. Mr. Badal cited the non implementation of terms and conditions of accord led to killing of Sant ji.
The Chief Minister said that Sant Longowal made the supreme sacrifice of his life for the sake of peace, communal harmony and brotherhood in the state. Mr. Badal said that the SAD-BJP alliance government was working tirelessly to uphold these ethos as a humble and befitting tribute to Sant Ji. He said that while the Congress party has always pursued the policy of divide and rule for their vested political interests, the SAD-BJP alliance has always upheld the ethos of communal harmony, peace and brotherhood. Taking the Congress party to cudgels, the Chief Minister said that Congress has irrelevantly meddled in the social, political, economic and even religious affairs of the state. He further bemoaned that the Congress governments at the centre had deliberately denied the state of Punjabi speaking areas, its capital Chandigarh and even its legitimate share in river waters. Mr. Badal further said that Congress party was the perpetrator of a deep rooted conspiracy to deprive the state of its waters by constructing the Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal.
The Chief Minister said that only Shiromani Akali Dal was the true custodian of the interests of Punjab and its people. He said that the last around ten years of rule of SAD-BJP alliance was testimony to the fact that the state government has delivered every promise made to people. Mr. Badal called upon the people to hand over the control of their destiny in right hands by forming SAD-BJP alliance government for third consecutive term. He said that every vote for alliance in coming poll would be a vote for stability, development, peace and right governance in the state. Terming the SAD-BJP alliance government as the only pro - people government in the entire country, the Chief Minister said that due to growth oriented policies of state government, the Punjab was today pinnacle of its glory. He said that the alliance government has supplied free power to the farmers of the state at a cost of Rs 50000 crore in last ten years to bail them out from agrarian crisis. Mr. Badal said that the state government has started first of its kind scheme to provide interest free crop loans worth Rs 50000 to the farmers.
The Chief Minister also expressed satisfaction over the overwhelming success of Mukh Mantri Tirath Yatra scheme. He said that people were availing benefits of this first of its kind scheme in the country enthusiastically and with full religious fervor. Mr. Badal said that under this scheme free pilgrimage was being provided to devotees to sacred cities of Sri Nanded Sahib, Varanasi, Katra (Mata Vaishno Devi), Ajmer Sharif and other holy places. He said that state government was organizing free trains/ bus service to these cities for the pilgrims along with other logistic facilities.The Chief Minister further said that in a short span of BJP led NDA government’s rule at centre, Punjab has been immensely benefitted from it. He said that the Union government has given several key projects to the state, which would be instrumental in putting the state further on high growth trajectory. He hailed the NDA government for allocating prestigious projects like All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Post Graduate Horticulture Research and Educational Institute and other major projects.
Earlier in his address, The Punjab Deputy Chief Minister, S. Sukhbir Singh Badal launching a scathing attack on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said that naxalite elements have infiltrated the party which comprises of outsiders trying to capture power in Punjab at any cost. Further attacking AAP he said that it only believes in confrontationist ideology and if it comes to power then neither the wheat nor paddy of the Punjabi farmers would be lifted because AAP wants to exploit Punjab only as a base to spread its wings in other states besides keeping the pot of confrontation with the Union Government boiling.He castigated congress and said that it has no achievement to showcase during the Chief Ministerial tenure of Captain Amarinder Singh and when challenged in the Vidhan Sabha to list a single developmental measure, the congress leaders fumbled for words. Describing Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) as a 95 year old party committed to people' cause, the Deputy Chief Minister said that SAD fought for the freedom of the country and made numerous sacrifices and after freedom also it was deeply involved in the people's movements especially those concerning Punjab and therefore is true representative of Punjabi and Sikh community. He also divulged that SAD fought emergency tooth & nail and was instrumental in turning the dream of Punjabi Suba into reality.
Touching the developmental plank, he said that Punjab has been witness to prosperity in every sector only with S. Parkash Singh Badal as the Chief Minister. He said that several pro-people measures have been undertaken by the SAD-BJP government during the previous 9 years the most prominent among them are--- surplus power, Atta-Dal scheme, shagan scheme, waiving of tubewell bills of farmers, interest free loan of Rs. 50000 to the farmers having five acres or less land holding from co-operative banks, 2.50 lakh jobs to youth in past 9 years, soon to be opened three lakh skill centres to provide job oriented training to youth, free health insurance, 5-5 Marla plots to poor people, graveyards for Christian and Muslim communities, bicycles to school going girls, sewing machines for women, sewa Kendars to provide people easy access to government services, 4-6 laned road network, thermal plants , International airports, sewerage and clean drinking water in mandis, dharamshalas, waiving of tractor tax, pension scheme, free medicine centres, memorials dedicated to culture and prominent personalities of all religions, beautification of area around Sri Durbar Sahib at a cost of Rs. 2500 crore.
Appealing to the people to vote for SAD-BJP in order to continue the pace of progress centric initiatives, S. Badal announced that all 12000 villages of the state would have concretized streets and drains at a cost of Rs. 30000 crore in next 5 years.Prominent amongst other present on the occasion included Rajya Sabha MPs Mr. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Mr. Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Cabinet Ministers Mr. Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Jathedar Tota Singh, Lok Sabha MP Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra, MLAs Mr. Parkash Chand Garg, Sant Balbir Singh Ghunas, Mr. Iqbal Singh Jhunda, Mr. Gobind Singh Longowal and Mrs Farzaana Aalam, Advisor to Chief Minister Mr. Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, former Ministers Mr Gobind Singh Kanjhla and Janaab Nusrat Ali Khan, Former MLA Mr Ajit Singh Shaant, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Dr S Karunaraju, Deputy Inspector General of Police Mr Balkar Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner Mr Arshdeep Singh Thind and Senior Superintendent of Police Mr Pritpal Singh Thind.