Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce transfer of Chandigarh and Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab during his visit on January 5.
Modi is scheduled to inaugurate a satellite centre of the Chandigarh-based Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Ferozepur and is likely to address a rally after the event.
Speaking about Modi’s visit, Badal said Punjabis had high hopes from successive prime ministers that they would undo the injustice done to the state over the last several decades.
“I urge Mr Modi to make a difference on January 5 by transferring Chandigarh to Punjab. Punjabi speaking areas which were left out of the state at the time of its reorganisation in 1966 should be transferred back to it. Similarly, the riparian rights of the state over its river waters should also be bestowed to it,” he said.
Chandigarh is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.
Badal also expressed happiness that the PGIMER satellite centre at Ferozepur which had been secured by him for the state, would finally be inaugurated. He said the medical facility would prove to be a boon and urged the prime minister to ensure it was completed expeditiously.
On coming together of the BJP, Amarinder Singh's Punjab Lok Congress and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa's SAD (Sanyukt), Badal said that “combining one non-entity with another doesn't make any difference to the final product. A zero hundred times over is still a zero. Punjabis know their arithmetic. This alliance will not make any difference on state politics”.
While speaking about Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu's "make a cop wet his pants" remark, Badal said “ as if being a misguided missile was not bad enough, Sidhu is now shaming Punjabis by publicly resorting to vulgarity in his frustrated, maverick outbursts”.
On Congress MLAs Fatehjang Bajwa and Balwinder Laddi joining the BJP, the SAD chief said though it was an internal matter of the Congress it was a reflection of the state of affairs of the Punjab Congress.
“It is now clear that Congressmen realise their party is doomed and are jumping ship in droves”, he said.
With inputs from PTI.