Elections to the five municipal corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Bathinda, due in August, will be held as scheduled. An indication to this effect was given by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal here on Monday after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple.
An 'akhand path' was organised by the chief minister at the shrine for the welfare of the people of Punjab and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and in the memory of his wife, late Surinder Kaur Badal.
Talking to the media later, Badal assured that the MC polls would not be delayed. He said that the local bodies minister had sent the file concerning the holding of elections to his office and he would act on it soon.
Questioned about the possible damage to the wheat crop due to the inclement weather conditions prevailing in the state, Badal said that his standing orders were that a special 'girdawari' should be conducted whenever there is damage to crops or property due to natural calamities. The same orders will apply if the rains have caused damage to the wheat crop or to other crops so that the amount of compensation for each case could be assessed, he said.
"The central government seems to be playing a joke on the farmers by giving an amount of Rs 1,500 per acre for crops damaged due to natural calamities. In Punjab, we give an amount ranging from Rs 3,500-Rs 5,000 per acre, which at least provides some solace to the farmers," said Badal.
Turning to his oft-repeated issue of discrimination against Punjab by the union government, the chief minister said that states in the country were virtually at the mercy of the Centre.
"In fact, certain powers which should have been with the states are being exercised by the Centre. As a result, states have to turn to the central government even for trivial matters," he said.
Badal lambasted the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and said that it had failed on all fronts. Corruption and inflation have crossed all limits during the rule of the UPA, he said.