'Didi armtwisting Centre, we can't'
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has accused the Congress-led government at the Centre of providing funds to those states only whose leaders used arm-twisting tactics and cited his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee's example.punjab Updated: May 01, 2012 14:11 IST
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has accused the Congress-led government at the Centre of providing funds to those states only whose leaders used arm-twisting tactics and cited his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee's example.
"Only West Bengal managed to get money from the Centre by pressuring the government," Badal said. "Bengal vali bibi sab kuch dara dhamka ke le jandi hai (The West Bengal chief minister manages to get everything by threatening the Centre). But Punjab has not got its share yet." Badal said the scam-hit UPA government was using central funds to save itself, instead of distributing them fairly among states. "Punjab can't follow such a path (alluding to Banerjee)," he said. "We are asking for our share as Punjab is contributing a lot in terms of the nation's security of food and borders."
The chief minister made these comments after inaugurating the 5th edition of the All-India Punjabi Conference at Punjabi University here on Monday.
Blaming the central government for slowing down economic development of the state, Badal said, "When it comes to Punjab, except injustice and stepmotherly treatment, nothing fruitful has been served."
"Until the states are given financial and administrative independence by allowing implementation of the federal structure in the country, they would continue to beg before the union government," the chief minister said.
He pointed out that the finance commission had decided to provide funds to three states - West Bengal, Punjab and Kerala - but nothing had happened in reality for Punjab.
"The Centre is responsible for low industrial growth as funds meant for Punjab were given to other states," he said. He also blamed the Centre for power shortage in the state.
Badal said the future of agriculture in the state was at stake as wheat and rice were rotting as the Centre had failed to make adequate arrangements for their storage. "We asked the food and civil supplies officials to build new godowns so that grains won't get wet during rains, but they have failed to take note of it," he said.