CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday advised the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre to quit office if it could not control the situation arising out of communal violence, terrorism and price rise.
In a scathing broadside, while talking to reporters after presiding over the State-level Independence Day function at Ludhiana, Mr Badal said that the Government at the Centre had brought the country to an “explosively dangerous” stage. “India is burning and the UPA Government is sleeping smugly,” he added.
Mr. Badal expressed concern that things were spiralling out of the control of the Union Government and the country was faced with the spectre of being at war with itself. “There is virtually a siege within,” he lamented. The prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir stood out as a crying testimony to the failure of the UPA Government. .
On Naxalite violence, Mr. Badal said the Union Government was not even trying to get to the roots of the problem, let alone removing the causation.
He took strong exception to “amazing utterances” of Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram who is reported to have predicted further increase in the rates of inflation which had already crossed the 13 per cent mark. He said that the rise in prices of essential commodities was another instance where the Centre had miserably failed.
‘Treat entire Punjab as SEZ’
Mr. Badal demanded that the entire Punjab be treated as a “Special Economic Zone” (SEZ) for agriculture and asked the Centre to bear the cost of free electricity to the farm sector and rejuvenation of the canal system as the State accounted for meeting almost 70 per cent of the national buffer food stocks.
Responding to a question on the implementation of the fifth Punjab Pay Commission Report, Mr. Badal sought to assure that the State Government was prepared to implement the recommendations “within no time”.
Referring to the unprecedented rains in the state over past few days, Mr. Badal said that Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners of all ranges and districts, respectively, besides the drainage wing of the Irrigation Department had been directed to make adequate efforts to effectively deal with the situation like floods.