Updated: August 4, 2021 11:40:04 pm
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday described the proposal to appoint a full-fledged Administrator for UT Chandigarh, by divesting the Punjab Governor of this charge, as “another attempt to dilute Punjab’s claim to its capital city”.
In a written statement, Badal said, “We will oppose this move tooth and nail. Chandigarh is an inseparable part of Punjab and should be transferred to the parent state as soon as possible”.
He added that there was no reason to appoint a full-fledged Administrator for the UT from outside the state. “If at all an Administrator has to be appointed till such time the Union Territory is not transferred to Punjab, the officer should be from the parent state. Earlier also the chief commissioner of Chandigarh used to be from Punjab,” the statement said.
Asserting that “all decisions taken at the time of reorganisation of Punjab were being violated one after the another”, Badal said, “The Centre was not following the 60:40 ratio for posting of officers in the Union Territory. Separate cadres have been created to reduce the strength of Punjab service officers in the UT and now even AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory) officers are being posted on key posts in utter violation of the 60:40 formula.”
Stating that instead of correcting the wrongs being done to Punjab, vis-a-vis Chandigarh, Badal said, it was “condemnable that the Union government was now planning to dilute Punjab’s role in Chandigarh even further”.
He said, “It was unfortunate that the NDA government was following the path of the Congress government by proposing to implement an anti-Punjab move which was also against the spirit of the Constitution.”
He further said, “The SAD had earlier also opposed a move to appoint a separate Administrator for Chandigarh in 2016 by divesting the Punjab Governor of this charge. We will launch an agitation to ensure this move does not fructify.”
He also requested Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, to pursue this case with the Union government and ensure no anti-Punjab decision was taken by the Centre. “The SAD is ready to approach the Prime Minister as part of an all-party delegation from the state to apprise him of the sentiments of Punjabis on this sensitive issue. If the Chief Minister does not take any initiative, then the SAD will approach the Prime Minister on their own and demand the proposal is not implemented”.
Badal said Punjab had the “first right over Chandigarh as the Union Territory was established by uprooting people from villages belonging to Punjab”. He said, “Even though Chandigarh was still the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, efforts were on to dilute its stake in the UT on one pretext or another. The Union government has even replaced Punjabi with English as the official language of Chandigarh, even though the area does not have any English speaking people. Similarly, the parent state is being denied a share in the taxes collected from the Union Territory.”
Congress leader joins SAD
Senior Congress leader, and chief of Bhau Bhaichara (Bhau community), Balwinder Singh Saifdipur, joined the Shiromani Akali Dal in the presence of party president, Sukhbir Singh Badal, at the party head office here on Wednesday. Welcoming Saifdipur and his supporters in the party and assuring them of “full dignity and respect”, Badal stated, “The Congress has suffered a huge setback in the home district of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh with Saifdipur joining the SAD.”
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