Bathinda, August 3, 2013: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that in order to protect the interests of Punjabi farmers in Gujarat, who were apprehending displacement in the Kutch region, he would soon take up the matter with the BJP high command.
Talking to the media persons here after administering oath to newly elected Sarpanchs and Panchs of Bathinda district, the Chief Minister said that Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had always stood for safeguarding the interests of Punjabis in general and that of farming community in particular, residing across the globe. Mr. Badal said that though the matter of farmers of Kutch region was pending in the Apex court of the country but then also he would take up the matter with National BJP President Mr. Rajnath Singh and the Chief Minister of Gujarat Mr. Narendra Modi to find some solution for this issue. “I will personally take up this issue with both these leaders to ensure the well being of our brethren in Gujarat”, he added.
Rapping the state Congress President Partap Singh Bajwa, the Chief Minister categorically said that in dearth of any issue against the state government he was misleading the people by claiming that the state government had shifted the site of Central University from Gurdaspur to Bathinda. He said that it was on record that the Union government had itself evinced keen interest in setting up Central University at Bathinda following which the state government had allotted land free of cost to them. Badal said that Congress leadership should desist from such cheap gimmicks to score brownie points in the media, as the wise voters of Punjab were aware of their dubious character.
Replying to another query, the Chief Minister advocated more powers for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) so that this premier agency, which has been dubbed as ‘caged parrot’ by the supreme court, could perform its duty efficaciously,.
Earlier addressing a mammoth gathering during the function, the Chief Minister dared the Congress party to field the young scion of Nehru-Gandhi family Rahul Gandhi from Bathinda instead of supporting PPP leader Manpreet Singh Badal. He said that the Lok Sabha MP from Bathinda Harsimrat Kaur Badal had performed exceptionally well during her current tenure due to which she was very popular amongst the voters of constituency. Badal said that owing to unprecedented development in Bathinda even Rahul Gandhi could not defeat Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Lashing out at the Union government for its anti-farmer policies, the Chief Minister categorically said that the regressive policies of the Centre have ruined the farmers of the state, who have played a vanguard role in providing food security to the nation. He said that providing free power to Punjab farmers was a moral responsibility of the state government so as to bail them out from the current crisis prevalent due to the escalating costs of the agricultural inputs on one hand and the lack of the remunerative MSP on the other. He said that if the state government had not extended a helping hand to the farmers than they would be ruined as due to the wrong policies of the Union government the beleaguered peasantry of state was already reeling under a whopping debt of Rs 30,000 crore.
The Chief Minister pointed out that unprecedented development has taken place during the SAD-BJP government in the state which would get further impetus in the coming days. He further said that with the starting of many ambitious schemes complete facelift of the state was on card. Badal said that while Rs 1700 crore would be spent on upgrading and strengthening of rural road network, an ambitious project to supply potable drinking water to every village of the state has been embarked at a cost of Rs 1604 crore. Likewise Badal said that all the villages of the state would be soon provided basic civic amenities on urban pattern.
Congratulating the newly elected Sarpanchs and Panchs, the Chief Minister said that people have bestowed a huge responsibility upon them by expressing their faith in them. He exhorted the Sarpanchs and Panchs to chalk out a comprehensive ‘four year plan’ to ensure the development of villages in a holistic manner. He assured fulsome support and co-operation to Sarpanchs and Panchs in this noble cause.
Earlier in her address, Lok Sabha MP from Bathinda Harsimrat Kaur Badal called upon the Sarpanchs and Panchs of the villages to launch a crusade against environmental pollution by planting more and more number of trees. She who had brought 10,000 saplings with her at the venue of the function said that every Sarpanch and Panch should plant this sapling to commemorate their victory on one hand and to avow that they would make all out efforts to reduce environmental pollution in the state on the other. She said that due to the active support of people in the state government’s program to save girl child, Punjab and particularly Bathinda has improved the girl child sex ratio and now the time has come when all the Punjabis must join hands for carving a clean and green Punjab.
Lauding the efforts made by Chief Minister for development of the state, Badal said that a new era of unprecedented growth has been heralded in Punjab. She said Badal has dedicated every second of his life for the well being of Punjab and Punjabis adding that the state has reached zenith of development due to the farsightedness and vision of the Chief Minister. Expressing happiness over the fact that a large number of women have been elected as Sarpanchs and Panchs, the Lok Sabha MP hoped that they would play a key role not only solving the public issues but also in fighting against many social maladies.
On the occasion the Chief Minister and Harsimrat Kaur Badal also handed the saplings to some of the newly elected Sarpanchs and Panchs.
Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included Cabinet Ministers Surjit Singh Rakhra, Sikander Singh Maluka and Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sarup Chand Singla, MLA Darshan Singh Kotfatta and Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister KJS Cheema.