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June, 2008


Anti-Punjab and even anti-Sikh policies of the Congress party
Mr. Manoranjan Kalia- senior BJP leader & Pb. Industry Minister

Chandigarh June 1, 2008

The Punjab Local Bodies and Industry Minister and senior BJP leader Mr. Manoranjan Kalia today successive Congress governments at the centre of pursuing a "consistent and conscious anti-Punjab policies on religious, social, political and economic fronts since Independence. By doing this, the Congress has always been trying to bleed the country's sword arm and dig holes in the nation's food bowl."

Mr. Kalia demanded a special economic package for the development of the state.
Speaking at the BJP's National executive Committee meeting in New Delhi this afternoon, Mr. Kalia said that the post-Independence history of the country is replete with instances of the purposely anti-Punjab and even anti-Sikh policies of the Congress party and its governemnts in New Delhi and Chandigarh. Their obsession with anti-Punjabism is so pronounced that they did not spare even the emotional and spiritual moments like the 400th anniversary of the installation Sri Guru Granth Sahib which the whole world recognises as the most powerful symbol of secularism. "The Congress goverrnment in the state at that time went to the extent of refusing to allow the use of Guru Nanak Dev University for hosting a function in connection with the country's proud heritage left behind by the Great Gurus. In sharp contrast, the BJP led NDA government had pulled all stops to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib and throughout the country.

President APJ Abdul Kalaam, Prime Minister Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee and the chiefs of the three wings of the armed forces had taken part in the country's glorious hour in 1999. In addition, the Prime Minster had set up a national committee headed by the PM himself and state level committees headed by respective Chief Ministers to ensure that the Birth of the Khalsa was celebrated on an unprecedented scale. The Congress on the other hand virtually ignored the event and subsequently failed to extend the due reverence to the moment concerning the installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Referring to the political discrimination against Punjab, Mr. Kalia said that the Punjabis were forced to wage a long and difficult struggle to achieve Punjabi Suba even after almost all the other states had been reorganised on linguistic basis. Mr. Kalia said that no state had a better claim to be reorgansied on lingusitic grounds than Punjab since even the very name of the state was associated with its mother tongue, Punjabi. But Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru and other Conggress leaders backtracked on the promies made in this regard to leaders of the eminenece of Master tara Singhji and Sant Fateh Singhji. Punjab, he said, is the only state whose capital did not remain with the parent state after reorganization. There has been massive discrimination on the issue of river waters and control of head works as well as BBMB. The Congress even stabbed Sant Harchand Singh Longowal in the back, refusing to implement the Punjab Accord signed by him with his own blood."

The BJP leader said that the history of Punjab reads like a long story of discrimination on the economic front. Punjab is getting only 1.3 per cent as share from central taxes. Its contribution to GDP is immense with more than 60 per cent remission to food kitty alone. The state got only .76 per cent share in the national budget last year.
Perhaps the worst hit as a result of this discrimination are the brave and hard working farmers of the state who have repeatedly saved the country from starvation and international humiliation. They contribute more than sixty per cent to the national food kitty. But out of the national agricultural development fund worth Rs. 25,000 crore last year, Punjab, the leading agricultural state got just 35 crore. In other words, a state which contributes 60 percent to the national food kitty got a disgraceful.14 (Zero point one four) percent from this fund. Even if this is increased to 100 crore this year, as rumoured, this would still be only less than 0.25 percent compared to the wheat contribution of over 70 percent and overall contribution of 60 percent in food kitty by the state. In the national project on food self sufficiency, only ten districts, some of them very small districts, have been included. More than 65% of the state's areas has been left out of this project. If this is the treatment we get even in agriculture, one can imagine what happens in other fields," said Mr. Kalia

The same treatment continues in other areas. "Punjab has not been included in national schemes on up-gradation and modernisation of power infrastructure. No major industrial project given to Punjab except Bathinda refinery given by Shri Atal Behari Vajpayeeji's government. Even that refinery was almost scuttled by the Amarinder Singh-led last Congress regime in the state. In fact, the Punjabi's efficiency was being punished under national schemes on irrigation which gives funds only to states which have neglected their system. It is the same story for road infrastructure. National policies should be recast to provide incentive to states which perform better rather than the other around, said the Punjab Minister.

Mr. Kalia said that it was painful that no consideration being given for the state bearing the brunt of foreign invasions, covert and overt. The state suffered the most during the three wars against Pakistan and from the Pak inspired terrorist conspiracy, and yet no funds had been provided by the then Congress government for reviving social and economic infrastructure after the people of the state had boldly defeated the conspiracy. "Punjab should have been given a gold medal because nowhere else in the country has a foreign-planned terrorism been defeated the way it was done by the people of Punjab.

But the state continues to bear the brunt of anti-Punjab policies of the centre."
Mr. Kalia said that as the country's sword arm and the most sensitive and active border state, Punjab deserved special schemes for development of the border belt. "This should have been done even in the overall national interest, forget about doing Punjab a favour," he said.


Chandigarh, June 1, 2008

: A Fifty-three member strong delegation led by Mr. Justice Vijender Jain, Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh and President of the Asia Pacific Jurist Association has left India for round table conference with the Judges of the Supreme Court of Mauritius on Independence of Judiciary and latest trends in Jurisprudence. The key note address at the inaugural ceremony of the Seminar on 2nd June, 2008 would be delivered by Justice Vijender Jain.

On 3rd June, 2008, key issues in International Arbitration would be mutually discussed during the seminar. The Chief Justice was accompanied by Justice Rajive Bhalla and Justice Rajesh Bindal, Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Justice Kailash Gambhir, Justice S.N. Aggarwal and Justice P.K. Bhasin from Delhi High Court as a part the delegation. Apart from Judges, 47 lawyers from Punjab and Haryana High Court and Delhi High Court would also take part in this historic meet of Indo-Mauritius Legal Fraternity under the auspices of Asia Pacific Jurists Association.




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