Centre not doing justice to Punjab: Badal

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Chandigarh, July 2 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal today accused the UPA government of ''not doing justice'' to his state even as it contributed the most to the Central pool of foodgrains.

Talking to reporters here today, Mr Badal said Punjab had contributed 99 lakh tonnes of wheat to the Central pool this year but the Centre did not do justice to the state.

Punjab, he said, did not get Central funds commensurating with its contribution to the Centre.

In the context of the farmers' debt relief package, he said Punjab got a meagre amount of Rs 986 crore while the neighbouring state of Haryana got a hefty sum of Rs 2120 crore.

The farmers of Punjab, he said, had been at a disadvantage with regard to the Centre's debt relief package just beacuse they were good in paying back their debts.

Mr Badal said he had talked to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on these issues and the latter had assured him of giving due consideration to the state's demands and grievances.

Regarding the seepage problem in the agricultural land in Punjab, he said the tributaries of various canals in the state were old and needed repair. On the other hand, Rajasthan did not get enough water. ''If we are given funds for the repair of our tributaries, we can get rid of the seepage problem while Rajasthan can get more water.'' When his attention was drawn to Punjab Congress president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal's proposal to set up a youth brigade of the Congress to fight the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), he quipped that Ms Bhattal and former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh were busy fighting between themselves. ''How can they fight us.'' On the Congress allegations of rigging against the SAD in the Panchayat and civic elections in the state, Mr Badal said these allegations were false and baseless.


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