The Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today demanded the removal of what he described as “illogical and utterly unrealistic conditions” imposed by the center as riders on the release of central funds for schemes, programmes and initiatives such relief measures being carried out by state governments.The Chief Minsiter asked the PPCC leaders, especially Mr.Partap Singh Bajwa and Mr. Sunil Jakhar to join the nation-wide efforts of states to get the center’s dictatorial conditions removed so that the states had greater freedom in implementing people friendly measures and schemes rather than being obsessed with petty street level quarrels about getting the names and pictures of duly elected leaders in States removed from schemes started by them.
The Chief Minster also asked the Congress rulers at the center if they would stop using the names and pictures of their present and former leaders with central schemes which were funded by revenues collected from states all over the country. “If the center wants the state governments not to use the names or pictures of leaders duly elected by the people with schemes for which center also contributes something, then by the same logic, would they remove the names names of Congress leaders from central schemes as the money that goes into them is collected only from states.” Badal, however, dismissed the entire controversy as “ petty and unworthy of dignified people holding important positions in the country.” He said he had never objected to the use of names or pictures of any Congress leaders with any schemes started with public money collected from states. He said that rather being obsessed with the removal of names and pictures of duly elected leaders in state governments from development schemes, the center should concentrate its energies on major problems facing the people today. For a start, In Punjab, they would do well to release the relief money for victims of waterlogging menace“Rather than expending all their energies on the removal of names and pictures of duly elected leaders in the state governments from government schemes, the Congress leaders should join us for the removal of these anti-people and anti-states conditions that hampered growth, development and even relief operations.
Interacting with the victims of waterlogging menace during relief operations in various villages in Mukatsar, the Chief Minister slammed the UPA government for inordinate delay in the relief and rehabilitation work for flood victims. Mr. Badal said that the complete insensitivity of the union government towards this matter reflects that these people sitting at Delhi were hardly concerned about the plight of the victims of natural tragedy. He said that the Congress top brass at the center were unaware of the ground realities of the country adding that none of them have ever bothered to visit the flood affected areas to acquaint themselves about the agonies of the people.
Answering media queries on the drug issue and the points raised by former DGP Mr. Shashi Kant, the Chief Minister categorically asked why the former DGP had not acted against the drug peddlers when he was himself at the helms of affairs in prisons. He said that the former DGP could have conveyed the matter to him if the Police officer was reluctant to act against the drug peddlers.Earlier talking to the people on the concluding day of his visit to the waterlogged areas in the villages of Rani wala, Midda, Bodiwala, Saraawan Bodla, Ratta Khera, Aalamwala and Kolianwali, the Chief Minister said that by giving the compensation to flood victims the Union government was not doing any favor on the state as the compensation was money, which was collected from the states in form of taxes. Reiterating his demand for the fair devolution of taxes, Mr. Badal said that the criteria for it need to be revised so that states could get their due share. “The criteria for devolution of taxes needs to be decentralized in the larger interest of public” he added.
Mr. Badal asked the Leader of the Opposition Mr. Sunil Jakhar to rise above political pide to join in the common fight for justice for the people of the state. “I request him and the Opposition party to join us in getting the riders imposed by Union government, which debarred the state from adequately compensating the victims of fury of floods, removed. By getting these conditions removed can we help people more effectively in this hour of crisis. Mr. Jakhar should use his influence to convey his high command that the removal of these riders was the need of hour” he added.Meanwhile the Chief Minister also asked the Vice Chancellor of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Mr. VK Taneja to immediately send a team in the water logged areas of the state for exploring the feasibility of fisheries in the region. He said that this would give a lot of relief to the flood victims by supplementing their income. Mr. Badal also announced to open sewing centers in the water logged areas to extend relief to the victims of the region. Earlier in her address the Lok Sabha MP from Bathinda Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that there was hardly any ray of hope from the UPA government for ensuring the well being of people adding that in the larger interest of the country the NDA government must be formed at the Centre. Castigating the Union government for being neck deep in corruption, she said that through Scams like CWG, Adarsh Society, Coalgate and others the leaders of UPA have plundered amass
wealth. Mrs. Badal said that it was ironical that the UPA which was having ample of resources was doing nothing for the welfare of people whereas the SAD-BJP government under the leadership of Chief Minister had initiated a number of pro-people schemes like Atta-Dal for the benefit of people, despite of meager sources of income.Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included Lok Sabha MP Mr. Sher Singh Ghubaya, MLA Mr. Harpreet Singh Kotbhai, Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Sandeep Hans and Deputy Commissioner Mr. Paramjeet Singh.