With Union minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha recently shooting down Punjab's demand for a special financial package, terming it a prosperous state, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday was cautious while conveying his resentment against the Centre.
Talking to the media on the sidelines of a function here, Badal said, "Sinha is wrong in saying that Punjab is a prosperous state. We are not prosperous. I will not comment on the issue further. Sinha is only a minister in the government and his comments should not be taken as those of the entire Centre."
The chief minister tried to duck the queries by saying that the media highlighted only negative things. "What we got in the first year of the NDA government is not its priority, but what we did not get is being highlighted," he said.
On being asked for his reaction to the Centre refusing the special package to the state, Badal defended the Modi government and blamed the previous Congress government at the Centre for this. He said the Congress government ensured that the coffers of the government were empty before they left.
"The Centre does not have a note-printing machine that they print the currency and the states get it. It has to take various things into consideration while giving special assistance to the states. I can understand that," Badal said.
He urged the NDA government to pay heed to the state's demand, terming it as a right of the state. "We do not seek any concession from the government but hope that it will deliver justice to us by giving economic assistance to us," Badal said, adding that it was the right of the state to get financial assistance from the Centre.
He said the state government would not ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the financial assistance when he visited Anandpur Sahib on June 19. "He is coming as a guest and we don't demand anything from the guests," Badal said.