Badal asks Punjabis to reach Delhi for justice rally

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Bathinda, Fev 13 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called upon the farmers and industrialists of the state to converge at Ram Leela Ground in New Delhi for the proposed 'Insaaf Rally' of the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bhartiya Janta Party (SAD-BJP) on February 26.

''We have to awaken the Centre from deep slumber for the acceptance of the long pending genuine demands of the state's peasantry and the industry,'' Mr Badal said while addressing a public rally at Bhai Roopa village in the district.

It was high time to tell the Centre to shun its indifferent and apathetic attitude towards the states farming community and industry, he said refering to the package being provided to the farmers of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

He said the mounting agriculture debt of Rs 26,000 crore was because of the previous Congress Government that grossly ignored the interests of the farmers. Agriculture was no more a profitable occupation due to negligible returns and non-remunerative and stagnated minimum support price (MSP), he added.

The SAD-BJP Government had been demanding the linking of MSP with consumer price index for long time but the Centre had turned down it without giving any reason, he added. The C M said the farmers had contributed significantly towards the national food pool but they got nothing in return.

Mr Badal also claimed that the indifferent attitude of the Centre had forced the domestic industry to shift its base from Punjab to the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and J&K.

This was due to the special industrial package of the Central Government, he pointed out.

''We had been demanding the same package but the Centre always turned a deaf ear to our genuine requests on one pretext or another,'' he added.

He said the proposed rally would mount pressure on the Centre to immediately announce an attractive package both for agriculture and industry to save the economy which was already in danger.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal who also addressed the rally also asked the farmers and industrialists to reach New Delhi for the rally. He said the expected turn out of more than one lakh farmers from all over Punjab would certainly have an effect on the Centre.

Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated a 66 KV grid sub station at Maluka village and laid the foundation stone of another 66 kv sub station and an Adarsh School at Dialpura Bhaika village.

He also laid the foundation stone of the Rs 2 crore sub-tehsil building at Bhagta and one of the widening and strengthening the link roads at Bhai Roopa and Maluka.

A SGPC School was also inaugurated by the CM.

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