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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

SAD sticks to federal structure demand

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, September 03, 2013
First Published: 20:38 IST(3/9/2013) | Last Updated: 20:38 IST(3/9/2013)

There's nothing new in the new resolutions passed in the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) delegates' session.

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Reading out by turn here on Tuesday, senior party leaders highlighted the demands that were identical to those cleared in the January 2008 delegates' session. Some of the resolutions were from the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) general house meetings.

In its first resolution, the SAD called for a genuine federal structure in the country, with greater autonomy to the states. "Strong states mean a strong country," stated the resolution, adding: "This alone is the recipe for economic growth, development and prosperity."

The resolution accused the Congress of eroding the federal principles as laid down in the Constitution, leading to imbalances in the country's growth and economy and reducing the states to the position of beggars. The delegates demanded the undoing of injustice done to the state by denying claim to capital city Chandigarh and other Punjabi speaking areas. The party demanded that these areas be transferred to Punjab.

The SAD also demanded the resignation of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) from the government "to pave way for fresh mandate to save the country from economic crisis". The party expressed deep anguish over the denying of justice to the victims of the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi and some other parts of the country in November 1984. "The guilty continue to enjoy the Congress' patronage and positions of high power and prestige in its governments at the Center and in the states," read the resolution.

Akalis also attacked the UPA for "brazen interference in the religious affairs of Sikhs" and "conspiring to weaken Sikh institutions such as the SGPC and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee (DSGMC)", and opposed the formation of a separate gurdwara committee for Haryana. They also expressed concern over attacks on Sikhs in some countries and blamed it on the Centre's failing to take a firm stand.

Another resolution expressed "grave concern" over the massive increase in the prices of agricultural inputs such as diesel, fertilisers, pesticides, and implements and machinery compared with only a modest rise in the minimum support price of output products. The delegates also demanded an agricultural diversification package of Rs. 10,000 crore for Punjab and major agricultural states.

The UPA was also accused of discriminating against the Dalits in the country. The delegates commended the "pro-Dalit" policies of the coalition government in the state and endorsed its schemes such as Shagun and atta-dal. They also condemned the Centre for denying Punjab the industrial concessions given to the neighbouring states.

 

The demands

* Transfer of Chandigarh and other Punjabi-speaking areas
* Fresh elections in the country over economic crisis
* Justice for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi
* No UPA interference in the religious affairs of Sikhs
* No separate gurdwara committee for Haryana
* Firm stand by the Centre to stop attacks on Sikhs in foreign countries
* Higher MSP of farm outputs to help farmers cope with high input cost
* Agricultural diversification package of Rs. 10,000 crore for Punjab
* End of discrimination against Dalits
* Industrial concessions for Punjab, as given to the neighbouring states

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