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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

Give Modi time to prove sincerity towards Punjab: Badal

Hindustan Times  Baba Bakala (Amritsar), August 10, 2014
First Published: 21:44 IST(10/8/2014) | Last Updated: 09:12 IST(11/8/2014)

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has sought “some more time” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prove his sincerity towards Punjab and its people. “It is too early to assess the performance of Modi and his government, and pass judgment vis-a-vis Punjab,” he said while talking to the media after addressing the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) political conference at the annual Rakhar Punia fair here on Sunday.

He said the formation of the “friendly” NDA government had come as a relief for Punjab, “which suffered a great deal as a result of the step-motherly treatment meted out by the UPA in the last 10 years”.

“In fact, since 1947, Punjab has suffered economically, politically and even religiously due to interference in Sikh religious affairs under the Congress, which has ruled the country for the maximum number of years,” he added.

He predicted that now under the “dynamic, progressive and visionary leadership” of Modi, “the country will soon reach the pinnacle of its glory”.

Fight against drugs

Badal further said the state government was making “all-out efforts” for “wiping out” drug abuse from the state. He said the state government had cut off the drug supply line “to an extent” and now a massive program for detoxifying addicts and their rehabilitation was underway. On the planned 22 rehab centers, he said they would be operational within four months.

On sportspersons

When reporters drew his attention to the support Haryana government gives to its sportspersons and the impressive performance of the neighbouring state in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Badal only said that “in certain games like wrestling, Haryanvis excelled as this was a sport that they inherited from well-known wrestlers of the state”. He claimed, albeit wrongly: “They (Haryana) only give money to medal winners, while we (Punjab) not only give money but also jobs. Many medal winners are DSPs.”

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