As the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana shared a common stage to address the first political rally under Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, it was time for the two to share some 'mann ki baat'.
His hopes for financial bailout from the BJP-led government at the Centre yet to be fulfilled, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal told Modi it was high time that farmers too got their due.
"By implementing one rank, one pension (OROP), you have realised the 'Jai Jawan' slogan. You have rewarded those who defend the country. Now it is time to do a bit for the farmer who ensure food security of the country," Badal, who was speaking in Punjabi, said referring to the slogan 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' given by late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, which Modi too had echoed as a poll promise.
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, who spoke before Badal, reminded Punjab of the shared legacy of the two states. "We have a common capital, secretariat, assembly and now an international airport. Punjab should continue the tradition and iron out all issues like an elder brother," Khattar said.
Badal too started his speech by addressing Khattar as a loving neighbor, hailing the Modi government for ushering in "cooperative federalism" and bestowing important projects on Punjab such as Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Amritsar, All India Institution of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bathinda, horticulture research institute and heritage status for Amritsar etc. He, however, reminded the PM that the peasantry continues to reel under an agrarian crisis and needs to be bailed out.
"The prices of crops are non-remunerative and those of agriculture inputs are spiraling. The previous regime at the Centre has failed to come to the rescue of the hapless farmers. But for realising the slogan of 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan', the plight of farmers should also be addressed," Badal said.
Still hoping for a fiscal bailout from the Prime Minister, Badal said the PM understands Punjab's problems and he does not need to be reminded about them. "Bin maange moti mile, maange mile na bheek (sometimes you get everything without even asking while you don't get anything even if you beg)," Badal said.