Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday urged Centre to increase Border Security Force (BSF) deployment along the Punjab’s 553-km border with Pakistan on the pattern of Jammu and Kashmir till assembly elections, due in early 2017.
Speaking in New Delhi at the inter-state council meeting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired, the deputy CM accused the Centre of “usurping the rights and authority of the states”, and reducing them to the “status of mere beggars”.
Sukhbir described the decisions of the Centre to shift subjects from the state list to the concurrent list and from the concurrent to the union list as a “dangerous exhibition”.
On the SYL issue, he said not even a drop of water is spare with Punjab for discharge in the SYL canal.
He also rued that the decision of maintaining 60:40 ratio in posting officers in Chandigarh from Punjab and Haryana is being violated.
The deputy CM said Punjab has waged a national war against cross-border drug smuggling, he said: “Roughly 60% of the total illicit drugs confiscated in India are seized in Punjab.”
Haryana seeks women’s battalion
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar urged the Central government to sanction a women’s India Reserve Battalion (IRB) for dealing with female protesters and also sought financial and technical support for modernisation of the police force, besides funds for the purchase of equipment for regional forensic science laboratories.
Stating that the security environment in Haryana was largely impacted by the state’s proximity to the national capital region (NCR), the state faced a large number of agitations because of its location in the vicinity of New Delhi. Protesters included large number of women, making it difficult for the male police personnel to handle them, hence the need for a women reserve battalion, he added.
Virbhadra demands green bonus for hill states
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, urged the Centre to grant “green bonus” to hill states in lieu of the environmental services being provided by these states on regular basis as an opportunity cost in terms of the area not available for other economic activities.
“It will be a big incentive for the states and will also be a step towards environment protection and sustainable development.”
The chief minister also raised issue of “special products” category for apple crop as safeguard mechanism to increase import tariff in event of surge in import of apple. He also stressed on the need for improvement of rail and road network in the state owing to its proximity with international borders.