Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday said he would again request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the blacklist maintained by the Centre.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a sangat darshan at Bal Kalan village, the chief minister said, “I have already urged the Prime Minister to direct the ministry of home affairs to evolve a mechanism for regular review of such cases. I have already requested the Centre to remove the names of people against whom there were no cases or legal proceedings. If needed, I would again pursue the matter with the Prime Minister in the coming days.”
Badal was answering a query on the issue of blacklist of Indian nationals, many of whom were Punjabis, maintained by the Centre.
The blacklist was formed in 1980s when the separatist movement was at its peak in Punjab. It includes names of the people accused of terrorism, those supporting it and also many of those who had sought political asylum in other countries on grounds of religious persecution in India.
The CM said, “I will also take up the issue of the Sikh prisoners languishing in the jails of other states even after the completion of their sentences, with Modi. I have been repeatedly pursuing the matter with the Centre.”
Badal said this while answering a query as to whether he would take up the issue with the Modi government as he had been criticising the former UPA government on this.
Former militant Gurbaksh Singh, who had gone on a 45-day fast in November-December last year, demanding the release of six militants who had completed their sentence, had recently again threatened to go on a fast-onto-death if his demand was not met this time.
He had demanded the release of Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmit Singh and Shamsher Singh, who are under detention in Chandigarh’s Burail Jail in the Beant Singh assassination case. The others in the list are Lal Singh, who is in a Gujarat prison; Waryam Singh, who is detained in the Bareilly jail; and Gurdeep Singh, who has been behind bars in Gulbarga jail in Karnataka for the past 20 years.
More powers for state
Batting for more powers to states for the progress of the country and prosperity of its people, Badal said a genuine federal structure was the ‘panacea for all ills’ confronted by the country.
Badal said the states needed to be given more powers for ensuring comprehensive development of the country besides checking the growing trend of regional imbalance.
He said only the state governments were accountable to the people for every work but unfortunately all powers regarding the formulation and execution of the policies were vested in the Centre, which was hampering the overall development of the country.
Badal said that in such a scenario the only ray of hope was the implementation of a genuine federal structure as enshrined in the Constitution.
The chief minister said that the NDA government was in the process of framing policies for development of the states, and soon Punjab would get its due share in the central grants.
Tie-up with INLD
The chief minister said the sole aim of the Shiromani Akali Dal’s tie-up with the Indian National Lok Dal in the Haryana polls was to defeat the Congress. He said it would have no bearing on the SAD-BJP ties as both the alliance partners were committed to wiping out the Congress from Haryana.