Badal hits out at UPA rule for ''hitting the common man''

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Hoshiarpur, Jun 3 (UNI) Criticising the policies of the UPA government due to which ''inflation has broken its all previous records'', Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said it had ''hit hard the common man and made his life miserable''.

''The citizens who were already struggling to manage their homes are apprehensive about how they would be able to keep their kitchen fires burning after the proposed hike in the petrol and diesel rates'', he said, while addressing a gathering in a function organised in connection with the 58th anniversary of Sant Prem Singh Murala, at village Miani near here.

Referring to the proposed increase in the minimum support price of paddy, Mr Badal said it would not benefit farmers. The increase in the rates of fuel oil, would not only raise the input prices of agriculture but also of the essential commodities including wheat flour, pulses and edible oils.

Punjab had produced and contributed maximum quantity of wheat in Central pool for which farm labourers had played a significant role, but they gained nothing extra. To benefit them, Punjab government would demand a special package for them from the Central government, he said.

Referring to ensuing elections of Municipal Councils (MCs), Mr Badal claimed that SAD-BJP alliance would jointly contest and capture all the seats. To prepare a strategy in this regard, a joint meeting of leaders of both the parties would be held tomorrow at Chandigarh, he said.

Criticising the Central government for not granting any share to Punjab from Central Excise Duty being collected from state, Mr Badal said he would press for granting its due share.

Recruitment of teachers would soon be completed and all the vacant posts of teachers in government schools would be filled up, he assured.

Syllabus books to be provided to the SC students had already been purchased which would be supplied to the schools very shortly, said Mr Badal.

Earlier, the Chief Minister paid floral tributes to Sant Prem Singh Murala and emphasised to follow his footsteps.

He also announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh for Sant Prem Singh Murala Senior Secondary School, Lakhminder Miani.

UNI XC JN SP RAI2136

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