Punjab chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday expressed ignorance about the recent meeting between senior leaders of his party and Sikh radicals in Birmingham.
A delegation of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), led by senior Delhi-based SAD leader Manjit Singh GK, had met pro-radical Sikh Council of the United Kingdom at the Smethwick Gurdwara on Thursday.
However, when HT asked Badal if the party was making efforts to forge cordial relations with the radicals, he said he was not aware about this meeting and its agenda.
Interacting with mediapersons, the CM said that rather than worrying about the fiscal condition of the state, the Punjab Congress leaders must introspect and look into the deplorable economic condition of the country under the UPA regime, adding that the falling rupee reflected the poor state of economy.
Even the union ministers have admitted the poor financial condition of the country, but the state Congress leaders were misleading the people by unleashing a malicious propaganda regarding the economic condition of state, which was very sound, he alleged.
The CM claimed that due to the “stupendous efforts of the state government”, Punjab was today leading the country in the field of education, as per the report of the Centre, and added that in spite of adverse circumstances, the state had emerged as the third-most preferred investment destination of the country, according to a recent report of the Reserve Bank of India.
He added that if the state government had not extended a helping hand to the farmers by giving them free power worth `5,700 crore, they would have “completely vanished”.
Terming the “meager compensation” given to flood victims in the state a “cruel joke”, the CM alleged that he had talked to the Prime Minister and union home minister about hiking the relief, but to no avail.
“No union minister has ever bothered to visit the state to give any grant or project to it. Rather, the Centre is depriving the state of its legitimate rights by blocking grants on the pretext of photographs pasted on 108 ambulances,” he alleged, adding that the ceasing of grants reflected the “myopic outlook” of the Congress leaders, who, he said, had always acted as a “stumbling block” in the state's progress.
“The Congress leaders owe an explanation to the countrymen as to why every central scheme is named after their leaders,” he said, adding that such schemes “were arbitrarily imposed on the states, which were left with no choice other than to implement them.”