BADAL DEMANDS ‘FULL COMPENSATION’ ..
BADAL DEMANDS ‘FULL COMPENSATION’ FOR FLOOD DAMAGE
Chandigarh August 22:
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal demanded full compensation from the Union Government for the loss of 22 lives, 2400 houses and destruction of crops in approximately 80,000 acres across eight districts during the recent floods in the State.
Talking to reporters in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) at the Punjab Civil Secretariat here, Mr. Badal said that the State government would press for “full compensation,” as payment of relief under the prevailing norms would be too meagre and inadequate as compared to the losses suffered by the people. He planned to meet the Union Ministers for Home and Agriculture, to put forth the situation.
Mr. Badal utilised the opportunity to reiterate his stance that Congress President Sonia Gandhi through the Haryana Government had initiated a plan to not only divide the Sikh community, but to deliberately hurt the religious sentiments by denigrating their apex body, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). He sought to hand out a stern warning that any attempt to set up a parallel body in Haryana could lead to serious consequences.
While Mr. Badal emphasised that the Sikhs were a peace loving community, they would not brook any interference either by the Union Government or by the Congress party, in their religious affairs. However, when his attention was drawn to the fact that the Akali Dal had been a staunch votary of autonomy to the States, Mr. Badal responded that while autonomy was a political issue, creation of a separate Gurdwara panel was religious matter.
Further, when reporters sought to know the reason for him targeting Ms. Gandhi alone, Mr. Badal quipped that a delegation of the Akali Dal was scheduled to call on the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday to seek his intervention in the matter. “Any criticism of the Prime Minister at this juncture would be inappropriate,” he added.