Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Thursday that Chandigarh had been an integral part of Punjab ever since its inception in 1966, but owing to the biased approach of successive Congress governments at the Centre, the state had been forced to share its capital with Haryana.
Sukhbir, who was here to inaugurate a CII fair and interact with industrialists, told mediapersons that as per international law, all constitutional conventions and past practices, the parent state had the first right on the capital after territorial division and, hence, Punjab had the sole right on Chandigarh.
"The Shiromani Akali Dal would continue its struggle till Chandigarh is transferred to Punjab and the state's riparian rights are restored. We recently submitted a representation to the union government in this regard," said Sukhbir.
He said that with oil companies declaring reserves worth Rs 1 lakh crore, there was no rationale behind giving them the liberty to increase prices of petroleum products every now and then. "The frequent hike in petrol, diesel and LPG prices is like putting the 'aam aadmi' on a drip of slow poison. It is shameful that the Congress has brought back the ration card culture and people are forced to wait in queues for hours to get an LPG cylinder," said the deputy CM.
Sukhbir claimed that the "reforms" initiated by the state government would gradually root out corruption, but when asked about the delay in implementing the Right to Services Act, he said, "We have introduced the Act and it will take some time to fully implement it."
On the "honour" bestowed on family members of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassins by the SGPC in Amritsar on Wednesday, Sukhbir said he would look into the matter.
Speaking about paddy procurement, Sukhbir said the state government had set aside a sum of Rs 20,000 crore to make payments to farmers within 48 hours. "The chief minister and his principal secretary are personally monitoring procurement operations on an hourly basis," he said.
Sukhbir also took a swipe at the UPA government, saying it was focused on filling the coffers of MNCs.