The other states should play royalty to Punjab for using its water and food grains, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has said, and promised to add this demand to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) common minimum programme.
Royalty was the right of any state that exploited its natural resources for others, Badal said here on Thursday. "We demand royalty on water and food grains to the state on the pattern of the same given to the states that supply coal and other minerals," he said, adding: "We will include it in the NDA programme and implement it."
As riparian state, Punjab had the first right to its waters, Badal said replying to queries on the sidelines of the Shaheedi Jor Mela conference. "Haryana, which is making a baseless demand for more water, along with Rajasthan should instead pay royalty to Punjab for using the water of its rivers," he said, adding that the state had overexploited its water and fertile soil, its only available natural resources, to make the country self-reliant in food production and now the country should repay Punjab's peasantry.
Earlier, addressing a mammoth gathering organised by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra during the conference, the CM said his party was after making his Gujarat counterpart, Narendra Modi, next prime minister of the country to usher an era of development in the state. "Take inspiration from the voters of Delhi, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh," he told people, "and teach the corrupt and inefficient Congress a lesson."
He criticised the Congress-led regime at the Centre for its denying the OBC (Other Backward Class) quota to Punjab's Jat Sikhs. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Kamal Sharma; Akali leader Prem Singh Chandumajra; and Rajya Sabha members Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Balwinder Singh Bhunder; were present.