Chandigarh: Punjab would continue to fight
for its rights over river waters, fund allocation, territorial
issues which were unjustly denied to it, state Governor
Shivraj Patil said on Friday.
Delivering his address on the opening day of the
Budget session in the Assembly, Patil said the state had been
subjected to "gross injustice" and "discrimination" on
religious, political, economic and geographical matters.
"Vast Punjabi speaking areas, including its capital
city of Chandigarh, were willfully kept out of the state in
total defiance of all precedents and principles of natural
justice," he told the Assembly.
The state was denied its rights over river waters in
violation of the nationally and internationally accepted
riparian principle, the governor said amidst thumping of
benches by the ruling party legislators.
Meanwhile, the entire opposition Congress led by MLA
Avtar Singh staged a walkout when the governor was in the 50th
minute of his 67-page address.
Former chief minister Amarinder Singh and former state
finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal were conspicuous by
their absence on the opening day of the budget session.
In his 90-minute address, the governor said Punjab had
been subjected to calculated discrimination and injustice in
the economic sphere.
In a veiled threat to neighbouring Haryana for
proposing a separate committee to manage Sikh shrines, the
governor said that the "ill advised" attempt to undermine the
Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) should be
avoided in the interest of religious and social harmony.
Punjab demands that states should be given at least 50
per cent share in central taxes, he added.
Nearly sixty years since Independence, Punjab was
denied any major industrial project. However, tireless efforts
of the state government made it possible for the state to bag
the Rs 19,000 crore Bathinda refinery project, he said.
He said that the state government was also bringing in
a revolutionary `Right to Service Act`.
The House was adjourned till Monday after the
Governor`s address and other formalities ended.