Punjab CM Badal for more autonomy to states

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday called upon the Centre to give more autonomy to the states.

Updated: Aug 15, 2012, 16:02 PM IST

Patiala: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday called upon the Centre to give more autonomy to the states for strengthening federal structure of the country.

"Tendency of the Centre to usurp the powers and authority given to states by the Constitution is detrimental to the interests of the states," Badal said, addressing a gathering after unfurling the flag at YPS Stadium here on the occasion of Independence Day.

Badal also thanked the people for voting the SAD-BJP alliance to power for second consecutive term.

Calling for introspection to find out as to how far the dreams of the martyrs who fought for freedom has got fulfilled, Badal said the country still has a "long way to go" to overcome issues like poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and inequality still persist in the society.

He said providing a quality life to the people through basic amenities like safe drinking water, electricity and sewage system would be the real tribute to the martyrs on this solemn day, which, he said, would be possible only through more power to states.

The Chief Minister asked the Centre to give a "serious thought" for setting up of a "genuinely" federal structure in the country, as the present trend towards the unitary system was "against the basic spirit of democracy."

Badal also lauded the contribution of the Punjabi community, constituting only two per cent of country`s population, in India`s freedom struggle and development.

Recalling sacrifices made by the freedom fighters from Punjab, Badal said the Punjabi community, though only two per cent of country`s population, contributed immensely in India`s freedom struggle.

Counting on the achievements of his government, Badal said Punjab now ranked third from the earlier 14th position in India on Education Development Index as per report of National University Educational Planning and Administration.

He informed that Punjab government will set up `Jang-e-Azaadi Yadgar` at Kartarpur in Jalandhar district to honour to those who fought for country`s freedom.

Badal also inspected a parade on the occasion and conferred State Level Awards to 34 persons for their contribution in various fields.