Former Punjab chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Parkash Singh Badal on Friday urged all political parties in the state to “stop fighting among themselves” and “lead a united fight” against the Centre’s decision to “turn Punjab into Union territory through the back door by handing it over to central security forces like the BSF.”
He said the move would further weaken the country’s already threatened federal structure and reduce the state government to municipal status. “It will be a blow to the pride and dignity of the Punjabis,” Badal said.
In a statement, Badal said: “If we don’t stop our mutual struggles for small stakes, the Center will happily take advantage of our weaknesses. Tomorrow we will all repent, no longer having the power to solve the problems of the people. . There will be nothing left for that. “
Mr. Badal said it was very unfortunate that the Center had usurped the rights of states, even on matters that are listed as states in the Constitution. He said that the Center first legislated three agricultural laws on agriculture which is a state subject. “Now, with this decision on the deployment of BSF, they have made the same encroachment on another subject of state, law and order,” he said.
Mr. Badal called on the Prime Minister to reverse these two encroachments by repealing the three black laws on agriculture and by withdrawing the orders on the deployment of the BSF.
Badal said there was also good reason to believe that the Center could prepare to deprive the state of its legitimate rights to its river waters. “They could conspire to use this drastic new step to crush the farmers ‘movement by blocking it at farmers’ gates in Punjab.”
The former chief minister, who is also the chief boss of Shiromani Akali Dal, said his party would not claim prestige and would gladly join or follow any other party willing to lead the fight.
SAD does not want political spotlight and would humbly cooperate with all other parties in a collective effort to safeguard the interests of Punjab. “In fact, safeguarding the interests of Punjab is in the general interest of the country because we are the ‘armed wing’ of the nation”
Describing the Centre’s decision to place almost half of the Punjab under BSF, Mr Badal said this would mark a return to the time when the Punjab was declared a disturbed area.
“By giving extended powers to the BSF, the Center has made the Punjab police totally irrelevant. I fear we have returned to the era of midnight strokes and house searches by security forces without a valid order. no notice and no platform to seek relief because people can no longer turn to local leaders or officers for redress for their grievances, ”he said.
In addition, Mr. Badal alleged that the Center assumed arbitrary powers to enter and violate the sanctity of the most sacred shrines, including Sri Harmandir Sahib, Durgiana Temple and Ram Tirath Temple. “We all know what can be the result of such callousness. The people of the Punjab must unite to safeguard their own constitutionally guaranteed pride and freedom,” he said.
Mr Badal also called on the Center “not to sully the already deep and festering emotional wounds of the Punjabis” by allegedly humiliating them by denying their basic democratic and federal rights to run their affairs through their own elected representatives. .
“For almost 15 years, the Center kept the Punjab under the reign of the president and even under the boots of the army, with disastrous consequences. I hope that the current rulers in Delhi will learn the lessons of history and not repeat the tragic mistakes of the past. Prime Minister in the interest of Punjab and the whole country not to allow the tragedies of the past to happen again, ”Akali pillar said.