Phagwara: Accusing successive Congress
Governments at the Centre of "step-motherly" treatment towards
the state, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday attributed all ills like poverty, illiteracy and unemployment
plaguing the nation to flawed governance.
Badal alleged that unitary form of government, with huge
powers vested in Centre, was the mother of all travails.
He was addressing a press conference at the residence of
Markfed Chairman Jarnail Singh Wahid after celebrating his
84th birthday here.
"Our system of government was to be federal but it had
been reduced to unitary. The states have to get Central
government permission even for a small road or a water
channel. This over-centralisation of the system stalls
progress of provinces," Badal said.
"Outdated formulas of Central government to provide
grants to Punjab should be reviewed," he demanded.
He accused the state Congress of blocking Central grants
Asked if the UPA government`s decision to put FDI on hold
spoke of its putting a false foot forward, Badal quipped that
whatever they had been saying about the UPA had proved right.
He declared his opposition to FDI.
Favouring a strong Lokpal, Badal said he would not mind
if everybody, including the media, was brought under it.
Referring to the blockade of roads by farmers, Badal said
that inconveniencing public was extremely bad. He also
criticised the Sarpanch who slapped lady teacher Varinder
On pre-poll harsh and abusive language being used by
Punjab leaders, Badal said, "I strongly condemn whosoever uses
bad language against any person. But Captain Amarinder Singh`s
agenda was to come to power with use of khunda (club). No one
can be at the helm of affairs with brute force. If Captain was
so fond of `khundas`, I can gift him two. As for us, we always
bore the brunts of Congress party`s khundas but came to power
Badal said that while Congress was agenda-less, his party
would come to power on the planks of communal harmony, peace,
prosperity, improved power, unparallelled development in
education, health, social services, rural and urban
"The number of `atta-dal` scheme beneficiaries was being
increased while those of BPL being doubled under fresh
survey," Badal informed.
He said that Rs 4,000 crore were being spent on
fulfilling basic urban needs like water supply, sewerage,
roads and light and Rs 2,500 crore were earmarked for
cleansing waters of the rivers.
He did not rule out exchange of a few seats with BJP.