Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday said the then Union Congress government had backstabbed Sant Harchand Singh Longowal by not implementing the Rajiv-Longowal accord, for which Punjabis could never forgive the Congress.
He was addressing the gathering to mark the 30th death anniversary of Longowal here. Badal said that within a year of the formation of the NDA government at the Centre, the state had immensely benefited from it.
A day after talking tough on the issue of special package for Punjab, Badal said the NDA government had given a major fillip to the overall development of the state.
Badal said the state had got key projects like AIIMS, Post Graduate Institute of Horticulture Research and Hriday status for the holy city of Amritsar. Badal vowed to make Punjab a leading state with the proactive help of the NDA government. By saying this he also drove home the point that the SAD-BJP alliance was firm.
The CM cleverly passed the onus of Punjab's poor fiscal health on to the Congress saying Punjab is facing a tough time because of the "indifferent treatment meted out to the state by successive Congress governments".
He said the industry and agriculture in the state were ruined because of the regressive policies of the Congress during its six-decade-long rule in the country. "Punjabis could never forgive the Congress as it had meddled in their social, political, economic and even religious affairs," Badal said.
The chief minister said Longowal had laid down his life for safeguarding the communal harmony, peace and amity to usher in an era of unprecedented development in Punjab. The real homage to him would be to uphold the hard-earned peace in the state, he added.
Badal also praised deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for "making Punjab power-surplus".
Sukhbir, in his speech, lauded Badal saying with his visionary and pro-people stance the CM had saved the state from the mess the previous Congress government had left it in.
Badal welcomes Amarinder's dharna
Chandigarh: Will the former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh's protest dharna scheduled for Friday in front of the residence of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal bring the two leaders face to face, as Badal on Thursday said his doors were open for Amarinder "for talks".
Badal, in a statement here, said he was "ready to welcome anyone who came to his residence or office and would be too happy to accord a warm welcome to Capt Singh".
"We have read it in the media. Capt Singh is welcome for talks," Badal said.
Reacting to this, Amarinder thanked Badal for extending a warm welcome to him, asserting that he and the other Congress leaders would not meet him but only stage a dharna to protest against his indifference to sugarcane farmers and those whose crops had got damaged due to unseasonal rains and floods.
Expressing gratitude to the chief minister for keeping his "doors open for everyone", Amarinder advised him to "extend this magnanimity" to the farmers who were suffering due to his "apathy and indifference". He observed that instead of indulging in sweet and "magnanimous" talk, Badal should take concrete steps to ameliorate the suffering of the farmers.