Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has strongly batted for the development of border areas by building a case for a special package for Punjab from Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the his maiden visit to the state.
“Once Ferozepur was a famous city, now there is silence like a desert. The border of Hussaniwala (Ferozepur) and Sadqi (Fazilka) should be opened for trade with Pakistan,” suggested Badal to Modi.
He said that the border towns were the most prosperous towns of Punjab but Partition of the country had inflicted a serious blow to these towns.
Citing the example of Ferozepur town, the chief minister urged Modi to take up the issue with Pakistan of bringing the list of items traded through the Attari border at par with those exported through the Mumbai-Karachi sea route.
SPECIAL SCHEME FOR BORDER AREAS
He also impressed upon the Prime Minister to evolve a special scheme for developing the border areas of the state so that the brave people of border areas could get their due. Badal also urged the Prime Minister to restart the special scheme for providing special relief to the farmers having land across the border.
The CM also said that ever since coming to power in 2007, their government has been following a pro-farmer policy of land acquisition, which should be replicated at the national level.
He said that the state government had acquired every inch of land for development projects with the express consent of farmers.
ACQUISITION OF FARM LAND
Badal also advocated that the Centre should give free hand to the states regarding the acquisition of land both for state and Union projects.
Batting for remunerative minimum support price (MSP) for farmers, the chief minister said that it was the need of the hour to combat the current agrarian crisis. He said that to promote the crop diversification in the state, the Union government should also fix MSP for alternative crops.
Badal also sought upward revision in the compensation for natural disasters to farmers as the existing compensation was meagre and inadequate. “The hardworking and resilient farmers of the state must be given their due in recognition of their immense contribution for making the country self- reliant in food production,” he added.
Earlier, paying floral tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, the chief minister said that these great sons of the soil had laid down their lives for emancipating the country from the shackles of foreign imperialism.
However, he said, that dreams of these martyrs still remain unfulfilled as the country was confronting a number of social maladies.
He said that it was a matter of great pride that the NDA government was giving due recognition to the immense contribution of these martyrs.
Not allowed to meet PM under pressure, alleges Warring
All-India Youth Congress (AIYC) president and party legislator (MLA) from Gidderbaha Amrinder Singh Raja Warring and local Congress MLA Parminder Singh Pinki have alleged that they were not allowed to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the police at the behest of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.
They, along with several Congress workers, had also gone to pay homage to martyrs at Hussainiwala, but were allowed to do so after a long drama by the authorities concerned and that, too, under monitoring by hundreds of men in khaki, alleged Warring.
The youth leader said, “They went inside the pandal and pleaded with the authorities concerned to let us give a memorandum to the Prime Minister but, under a conspiracy, they were sent out of the venue.”
“It is rueful that the common man was deprived of paying homage to martyrs on the pretext of security reasons,” lamented the Congress MLA.
“It is also sad on the part of the Prime Minister that he had politicised the martyrdom day and did not even bother to give anything concrete to residents of the land of martyrs”, Congress MLA Parminder Singh alleged.