Badal miffed at not getting invite to PGI event, writes to PM

By not inviting the Punjab Government at a function to lay the foundation stone of cancer hospital in Sangrur the Centre has "violated" federal system, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today claimed.

PTI| Updated: Oct 09, 2013, 22:20 PM IST

Chandigarh: By not inviting the Punjab Government at a function to lay the foundation stone of cancer hospital in Sangrur the Centre has "violated" federal system, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today claimed and said he has written a letter to the Prime Minister against the "unwarranted move".

"It was unfortunate that despite the fact that I had personally pursued this project and the state government gave 25-acre free land to the hospital, the Union government has due to its vested interest did not bother to invite us (state government) at the function," Badal said.

The Chief Minister said that he has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad will tomorrow lay foundation of the super-speciality hospital, a satellite centre of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh in Ghabdan village of Sangrur.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and party MP Vijay Inder Singla will attend the function.

"Though Health is a state subject, but by ignoring the state government at this important event the Congress leadership has vindicated our stand that it is deliberately encroaching upon the rights of the state thereby diluting the nation`s federal structure," the veteran Akali leader said.

However, PGIMER said they have extended an invite to several dignitaries, including Badal for tomorrow`s function at Sangrur.

"The Chief Minister has been invited (by the PGIMER) for the function tomorrow," PGIMER spokesperson said.

The chief minister claimed that the projects for cancer hospitals in Ferozepur and Sangrur were conceived by the state government, for which they had given land to the PGIMER also.

However, owing to their (Congress leaders`) "narrow mindset" the UPA government has not even bothered to give a courtesy call to us, Badal said.

"The Congress leaders should have refrained from stooping so low," the 85-year-old leader said.

"It does not behove such leadership to stoop so low while indulging in politicking on the projects related to the prosperity and welfare of general public," Badal told reporters on the sidelines of the ninth annual conference of Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) at Trinity College in Jalandhar.
Lashing out at the state Congress leadership, the Chief Minister alleged that instead of helping the state in getting any major project, they are busy "creating obstacles" in the way of central grants for the state besides vitiating the atmosphere of state by issuing illogical statements.
"The Congress leaders are not only blocking the grants or aids from the Centre, but are also issuing dictatorial orders to ban their leaders from meeting us (Akalis) even in social functions," he said.