New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash
Singh Badal today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking
his intevention in facilitating early elections to Shiromani
Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and saving Khalistan militant
Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar from the gallows.
Badal urged the PM to take a lenient of view of Bhullar,
whose mercy petition was rejected by the President
Pratibha Patil recently, and asked him to have his death
sentence converted into life imprisonment.
Bhullar, the mastermind of a car bomb attack on the then
Youth Congress chief M S Bitta in New Delhi in September 1993,
was convicted in 2001 and his mercy petition was pending with
the President since January 2003.
Accompanied by his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir
Singh Badal, the Punjab CM also requested the Prime Minister
to lay the foundation stone of the International Airport being
set up at Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar (Mohali).
Lamenting that the elections to the SGPC - the supreme
religious body of sikhs, was being delayed unnecessarily,
Badals said all other elections across the country were being
held according to their schedule.
The CM and deputy CM also complained of shortage of
storage capacity for foodgrains in the state and recommended
enhancing the facilities, saying the state required storage
infrastructure of 49 lakh MT capacity for coming paddy season.
Later talking to the media, the CM said the Prime
Minister had responded positively to the issues raised by
Earlier, Punjab CM also met Environment and Forests
Minister Jairam Ramesh yesterday evening and sought early
clearance of all pending projects under National River
Conservation Directorate (NRCD) in the state. During the hour-long meeting, the Punjab CM apprised the
Environment Minister about Detailed Project Reports (DPR) of
Rs 237.16 crore for Jalandhar Satluj and Rs 104.75 crore for
Rajpura, Patran, Khanuari, Lehragaga and Moonak (Ghaggar)
project under the NRCD, that had already been submitted to the
Badal also requested the Minister for expediting the
process of according sanction to these projects. The state is
already awaiting Central approval for projects worth Rs 401
crore under NRCD.
Badal also asked the Minister to release the 2nd
instalment of Rs 78.50 crore against the sanctioned projects
for 10 towns including Philaur, Nawanshahar, Banga, Phagwara,
Hoshiarpur, Moga, Mukerian, Tanda, Dasuya and Bhulath under
Badal also sought amendments in the guidelines to allow
use of funds of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and
Planning Authority (CAMPA) for agro-forestry/farm forestry as
it would add to the forest cover in the state.