Slamming the Congress for demanding the President's Rule in the state, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday said the demand was "totally baseless, absurd and without any legal sanctity".
Interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of a state-level function to commemorate the 475th birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap here, Badal said there was hardly any justification for the President's Rule demand made by the Congress, which was indulging in petty politics just for the sake of opposing the SAD-BJP alliance government.
Badal claimed that the Congress had time and again resorted to such "cheap tactics" to eliminate the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), but the "wise people" of Punjab had always foiled their attempts.
Slamming the successive Congress governments at the Centre for their "anti-farmers' stance", the chief minister said due to regressive policies of the Congress governments, the farmers were reeling under heavy debt and were forced to commit suicide. Badal said the Congress had made agriculture a "loss-making" proposition, as a result, the farmers were distressed.
Badal said the Congress governments at the Centre had usurped powers of the states in important departments like agriculture, and the Punjab government had limited role to play in these issues.
Badal said the state government was providing free power to the farmers at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore to bail them out of agrarian crisis, reiterating his government's commitment to help them at any cost.
Advocating the complete sealing of the international border, Badal said it would help curb the drug menace in the country. He said though Punjab was worst affected by the curse of drugs, it is a fact that not even a gram of it was produced in the state.
He said the state was suffering because of the supply of drugs from neighbouring states like Rajasthan and from across the international border. "We are committed to stamping out the menace from the state at every cost," Badal added.
Paying floral tributes to Maharana Pratap, the chief minister said he was a great national icon, who relentlessly fought against injustice, tyranny and oppression.
He said, "Maharana Pratap is a lighthouse for all those who want to serve their motherland with utmost zeal and commitment as the exemplary courage exhibited by the legendary warrior hardly finds any parallel in history."
He said Punjab was the only state that organised state-level functions to celebrate such mega events associated with every section of society. He said the Centre should also replicate the model at the national level to pay a befitting tribute to these national heroes.
Acceding to the request made by the Rajput Kalyan Board, Badal announced to set up a state-of-the-art Rajput Bhawan in any town of their choice to perpetuate the rich legacy of Maharana Pratap. He also announced to bear the entire expenditure to be incurred on the installation of a statue of Maharana Pratap at Pathankot.