Badal warns of return of militancy in Punjab

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Chandigarh, Jul 30 (UNI) Sounding a note of caution, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today warned that if the discriminatory attitude of the central government towards Punjab continued, it could lead to a law and order problem in the border state.

''We all know the reasons for the rise of militancy in Punjab, it was due to the indifferent attitude of the Centre towards the problems and issues confronting the state,'' he said while answering questions on the threat perception in Punjab after the recent bomb blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

Addressing a media conference here, he was of the opinion that there was a need to go into the root causes for the rise of militantcy in the country. ''Poverty was sighted as one of the reasons for the rise of naxalism, likewise militancy could also be due to unemployment and other problems,'' he opined.

The Chief Minister said the central government must convene a meeting of the CMs of all states to discuss issues like poverty and unemployment. The farmers are unhappy with the pricing policy of foodgrains, he added, with particular reference to Punjab.

Asked whether the central government had sent any intimation to Punjab on possible terrorist strikes in the state, the Chief Minister mocked at the terms, 'red alert' and 'high alert'. '' The police should always be alert and there is no such thing as red or high alerts,'' he added.

The Centre should provide sufficient funds to state governments to upgrade the police machinery so as to tackle terrorist threats, he added. Likewise, the state investigating agencies should be upgraded on the pattern of central agencies, he suggested.

Asked to comment on the statement of certain politicians that BJP-ruled states were delibrately targeted by terrorists to divert the attention of the public from the cash-for-vote scam, Mr Badal quipped, '' These may be their personel views.'' He also advised politicians not to indulge in such 'blame games' as the bomb blasts took place in India.

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