Punjab Has Been Denied Legitimate Rights: Governor
Punjab has faced "discrimination and injustice" from the Centre, Governor Shivraj V Patil said today while demanding the transfer of Chandigarh and other Punjabi speaking areas to the state.
"Punjabis were denied their legitimate right to have a state formed on the basis of their linguistic identity," he said while addressing the members of the 14th Legislative Assembly on the opening day of the budget session.
In his one hour address, the Governor expressed concern over the "dilution" of powers given to the states, sacrificing the federal impulse to create a "unitary structure" and reducing states to "mere beggars" at the doors of the Centre.
Noting that Punjab was "discriminated" against, he said, "Our capital city,
Chandigarh, too was denied to us."
Chandigarh had still not been transferred to Punjab even 47 years after it was decided that it would go to the state, he said while demanding that it and other Punjabi speaking areas should be given immediately.
He also said the state was meted out a "grave injustice" on the river waters issue.
"Punjab seeks no favours; it only demands that its natural and constitutional right on river waters be protected as per the nationally and internationally accepted Riparian principle.
"In India, Riparian principle has been violated only in the case of Punjab. The government is opposed to any national river water policy that is framed in violation of the Riparian principle," he said.
The Governor, who has political lineage to Congress before assuming the charge of the coveted post, omitted most of the achievements of the
SAD-BJP alliance government in his address.
Besides, in his entire address, the Governor preferred not to use the word "my" before the government in his prepared text and referred it to as "the."
While former Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh was conspicuous by his absence, new incumbent Partap Singh Bajwa sat for a brief in the Governor's gallery during the speech.
Patil, who omitted most of the paragraphs in his address, said there had been progressive erosion of powers given to the states in the Constitution.
"The states should be given a free hand in choosing and financing development priorities of their regions," he said adding that Central schemes were generally made without any reference to the varied needs of different states and of different regions within the same state.
The Punjab government demanded that the formula for devolution of funds be recast in favour of the states and this be allotted to them for spending on state specific requirements and plans. "States should be given 50 per cent share in revenue collected from states."
The Punjab government also demanded a comprehensive economic package of Rs 5,000 crores for diversification in Green Revolution states.
"Investment in agriculture sector should be seen not as a concession, but a national investment, especially in the case of Punjab whose farmers have always made huge sacrifices in the national interest," Patil said.
The Governor also took aversion to concessions granted to Punjab's neighbouring states saying that the border state had suffered loss due to flight of industry from it.
The state government also demanded exemplary punishment to the guilty of 1984 anti-Sikh riots and comprehensive relief to the families that suffered during the militancy period.
Highlighting some achievements of the present government, the Governor said the construction of the over Rs 450 crores international airport at Mohali had begun and the first phase was expected to be completed by 2014.
The domestic airport at Bathinda had been completed and was ready for commercial flights to start, he said.
All 804 branches of the cooperative banks in the state are targeted to go online by September 30 this year, he said.
"Ten lakh new jobs will be created over the next five years. Of these two lakhs jobs will be in government sector and at least three lakhs more jobs will be created in the IT sector," he said.
The government will continue to provide free power to the agriculture sector. Besides, the coming panchayat polls will be based on direct election of sarpanches by village residents and wards, he said.
Patil said the state government stood for the establishment of a society based on total gender equality and a place of high respect for women.
He expressed concern over the "continuing ignominy and sufferings inflicted on the pious and brave womenfolk."
The state government had already issued strict orders that all cases pertaining to women in police stations would be handled by women personnel.
A total of 3,233 woman constables had been recruited so far and another 1,200, besides 338 woman Sub-Inspectors, would be engaged in the next three years.
20 dedicated courts had also been approved for speedy trial of cases related to crime against women, he said.
Patil also said the government, "which accords the highest priority to peace and communal harmony, has always been able to ensure the best law and order situation in the country."
Follow us on Twitter
for all updates, like us on Facebook
for important and fun stuff
© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
|Post a Comment
|Share your thoughts
|You are not logged in, please