Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said here on Wednesday that internal as well as external security of the country was not safe in the hands of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre.
Addressing mediapersons on the sidelines of a state-level function organised on the occasion of parkash divas of "divine architect of the universe" Lord Vishwakarma at the Ramgarhia Girls College here, Badal said it was due to the union government's faulty policies that states such as Punjab were facing social and economic problems.
He said the UPA had always projected itself as a favourable government for the common man, but the recent exorbitant hike in fuel prices and other commodities at regular intervals just to benefit some big petroleum companies and industrial houses had exposed the UPA as an anti-people government.
Badal also blamed the central government for centralising power, which was completely against the true spirit of federalism advocated in the Constitution. The state governments are in direct contact with the masses and are being held accountable for the welfare of the public, so more power must be granted to the states, the CM added.
Blaming the UPA government for not taking any concrete step to safeguard interests of the country's youth, Badal said the Centre's tall claims could not resolve the issue of unemployment at the ground level.
Reiterating the Akali-BJP government's firm commitment towards generating employment potential at the local industrial level, the CM stated that his government had prepared a comprehensive plan to provide skill training to Punjabi youth in various disciplines. He said the state government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a German government company to set up main skilled development centres at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Bathinda and Amritsar with a chain of numerous sub-centres, where about 1 lakh youth would be trained every year in consultation with local industries.
The CM said Lord Vishwakarma was the founder of architecture and engineering on the earth. Whatever industrial and infrastructure growth we observe today has been facilitated by the lord's blessings, he added. He said it was the need of the hour to strengthen the education system and create employment avenues for the youth to develop the nation.
Badal stated that it was a matter of pride and satisfaction that the Punjab government, with its concerted efforts, had achieved the number one position in education. He said the Akali-BJP government had spent Rs 3,168 crore on upgrading and creating new infrastructure in the education sector, besides recruiting 71,025 teachers, establishing nine new universities, 17 new degree colleges, IIT Rupnagar, seven polytechnic colleges etc. to impart quality education with special focus on benefiting the rural youth.
Later, the chief minister honoured 12 eminent industrialists from Ludhiana Onkar Singh Pahwa, chairman, Avon Cycles; KK Seth of Neelam Cycles; Gurmit Singh, president, United Cycles Parts and Manufacturers; Charanjit Singh of Vishwakarma Cycles; Ranjot Singh, president, Ramgarhia Educational Council; Inderjit Singh Sohal, president, Ply Board Association, Punjab; Bhupinder Singh Sohal of Asia Cranes; Pankaj Munjal of Hero Cycles; Sukhdyal Singh Basant of Rattan Hammers; Parveen Chaudhary of Tarun Printers; Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, mayor; and Madal Singh, president, Hemkund Sahib Management Trust.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister's advisor Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal said "wrong" policies of the Centre in the name of reforms had affected industrial growth in Punjab, but the guidance of Parkash Singh Badal, coupled with the visionary approach of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, had again created an atmosphere to boost the industrial sector in the state. Talking about the allotment of sand mines, he said the Centre, despite the orders of the Supreme Court, was delaying the issue.
On the occasion, Punjab Vidhan Sabha speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, former minister Hira Singh Gabria, public works department (PWD) minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, MLA Prem Mittal, mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria and Ludhiana BJP president Parveen Bansal paid tributes to Lord Vishwakarma.
Others who attended the function included Ranjit Singh Dhillon and Manpreet Singh Ayali (both MLAs), Ludhiana deputy commissioner Rahul Tiwari and police commissioner Ishwar Singh.