Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday urged the Center to immediately constitute a sub-group of chief ministers of agrarian states to address farmers' woes.
Badal, who shared the stage with Union minister Arun Jaitley at a rally here, said there was an urgent need to address the grievances of the farming community that was suffering due to the apathy of the successive Congress governments at the Centre.
The chief minister also urged the Centre to come up with a viable insurance policy to cover crop loss due to freak weather. He said the state had even asked the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre to introduce the scheme, but of no avail.
Countering opposition, the chief minister said the BJP led NDA government at the Centre has sanctioned major road projects worth `19,000 crore for Punjab.
Sukhbir attacks Capt
Lashing out at Amritsar MP and former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said the royal scion of Patiala had never bothered about the issues and problems confronted by common man. "He has distanced himself from masses after being as an MP from Amritsar," claimed Sukhbir.
Amarinder, sources said, was invited to the Amritsar function as a special guest, but he did not turn up.
Meanwhile, Sukhbir urged Jaitley to ensure resumption of international flights from Amritsar. He said it will help the NRIs to stay in touch with their motherland.
Sukhbir also urged the Centre to set up domestic terminals at Adampur and Halwara air bases.
Revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia hailed Jaitley for allotting key projects such as IIM and AIIMS to the state. Majithia urged the finance minister to extend the eastern freight corridor to Attari in order to boost trade and commerce activity in the state.
State BJP president Kamal Sharma also spoke on the occasion. Earlier, the Badal and Jaitley visited the Amritsar meritorious school and inaugurated the newly constructed drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centre in the city.
Take over PIMS, Capt tells Centre
Amritsar MP Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said the HRIDAY project will help in restoring and redeeming the heritage status of the holy city. "I thank Jaitley on behalf of the people of Amritsar for it," he said.
He also welcomed the Centre's decision to set up IIM and AIIMS in the state. Amarinder urged the central government to take over the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences at Jalandhar, saying even an investment of about `1,000 crore by the Punjab government hasn't helped the institute. He said the Centre can easily convert PIMS into AIIMS and fulfil the demand of Doaba residents.
"Amritsar holds a special place in history. With HRIDAY, the city will get the facelift it deserves,' he said.