Peoples' Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Singh Badal on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Chandigarh visit once again overlooked the concerns of Punjab by not making any specific commitment to provide relief in view of the deepening crisis in the state.
"He remained silent even on the naming of the new international terminal of the Chandigarh airport that he inaugurated in the morning. It is ironical that while all these years deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal has been talking about the addition of international terminal to the existing Chandigarh airport as his dream project, Modi has not even recognised Punjab's claim. The inauguration plaque mentions it as a new civil air terminal of the Chandigarh airport while the Punjab government ad has made the claim as its being international airport at Mohali," he said in a statement.
"Sukhbir should have the guts to admit that only a new terminal has been added to the existing Chandigarh airport with equal contribution from Haryana besides the Airport Authority of India (AAI) having 51% stake," he said.
The former finance minister said the people of Punjab should stop expecting a big relief from the NDA government at the Centre as the Prime Minister did not even refer to any of the major problems the state was confronted with, such as farmers' debt being highest here, resulting in increase in number of suicides in the once-prosperous state.
Manpreet said the state was in urgent need of rescue package but it seemed either the present rulers have failed to convincingly put up the case or the Modi government has adopted an indifferent attitude.
He referred to the gratitude expressed by CM Parkash Singh Badal for Modi's "cooperative federalism", saying one failed to comprehend as to what Punjab had so far gained out of it.
Punjab has been a loser as central financial assistance has been curtailed despite hike in states share from 32 to 42%. He said state finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said this on record.
The PPP chief said Modi had not even given the assurance to implement the Swaminathan Committee report on fixing of prices of farm products despite Badal pleading the farmers' case.