Punjab

Ahead of PM Modi's visit, ex-Punjab CM seeks package for state

By Rajan Nath -- January 04, 2022 11:46 am -- Updated:January 04, 2022 11:50 am

Five times Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create the right atmosphere for his much-delayed visit to Punjab by first taking some concrete steps to expose the conspiracy behind the ongoing incidents of sacrilege against the Sikh faith and resolving the other major political, religious and economic issues facing the people of Punjab.

Parkash Singh Badal listed five major issues on which he said a Prime Ministerial package would lend credence and respectability to PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab.

“As PM, you would earn a lot of goodwill and my personal gratitude if, before coming here, you announce an economic, political, agricultural, and territorial package to meet the demands of the Punjabis." The former CM also drew the PM’s attention to thousands of Sikh families awaiting justice for the massacre of 1984. He said that the PM’s visit would then truly be a welcome gesture and would heal many past wounds inflicted by successive Congress governments.

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The former CM said that he was making this request on the eve of the PM’s visit “just to remind him of his sacred obligations to the country’s food bowl and sword arm, Punjab.

The former Chief Minister also demanded a major agricultural economic package to pull the Punjab farmers out of the tragic crisis into which they have sunken as a result of agricultural indebtedness.

The senior statesman said that the visit of the Prime Minister to the state was always a welcome step despite being too close to elections to sound genuine. “But it would be a great gesture if you go beyond optics and announce steps like an inquiry by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court to go into the conspiracy behind the painful series of sacrilegious incidents against Sikh faith and address other issues facing the people of the state.”

He further asked the PM to heed the expectations of Punjabis on the resolution of their other long-standing major demands including the transfer of Chandigarh and other Punjabi- speaking areas and the resolution of the river waters issue along with the Riparian principle.

Parkash Singh Badal also drew the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the loss of over 800 lives in the struggle against the three Back Laws on agriculture and said that these sacrifices must be acknowledged by a concrete gesture by the Union government to help their families.

“This was especially important as these sacrifices were made opposing the laws framed by the Union Government and the government has since acknowledged the advisability of annulling these laws.”

Badal said that Punjabis would truly and cordially welcome the Prime Minister if he demonstrates a genuine will to address and solve their problems as only a PM can.

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-PTC News

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