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
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
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,"
PUNJAB CHIEF JUSTICE ALONG WITH 53 MEMBERS
DELEGATION LEAVES FOR MAURITIUS
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
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.