Badal asks Centre to 'control or quit'

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Ludhiana, Aug 15 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, to either ''control or quit'', while refering to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the growing price index.

''India is burning and the UPA government is sleeping,'' he said while talking to mediapersons here.

The Chief Minister said things were really spiraling out of control and the country was faced with the specter of being at war with itself. ''There is virtually a siege within and India is being torn apart by communal and class conflicts and the Centre was busy dishing out figures on its achievements,'' he added.

Every nook and corner of the country was in flames, he said while refering to the bomb explosions in Jaipur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

Jammu and Kashmir stands out as a crying testimony to the failure of the UPA government to operationalise political processes to resolve the tangle which was the creation of its own opportunistic approach, he added.

Mr Badal also demanded that the entire state be treated as a Special Econmic Zone (SEZ) for agriculture and asked the Centre to bear the cost of free electricity to farmers. He also asked the UPA-government to bear the cost of canal rejuvenation in the state as the country was meeting almost 70 per cent of its food requirements from the foodgrain produced by its farmers.

The Chief Minister warned against what he described as the ominous drift of the country towards naxalite violence. He said the government was not even trying to get to the roots of the problem, let alone removing those.

The roots lay in economic disparities, burgeoning unemployment and utter poverty among the overwhelming segment of the population and the failure of the system to put in place avenues constructive release of youth energy, he said.

Taking strong exception to the utterances of Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram related to the soaring inflation which had already crossed 13 per cent mark, Mr Badal said it was amazing that the Finance Minister was still talking of inflation and price rise going even higher.

He said the spiraling inflation was the direct outcome of the Centre's failure to evolve and implement people-oriented policies.

UNI HS SW KN1641

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