BJP metes out 'step-motherly treatment' to Punjab in Budget: Mann

Chandigarh, Feb 1 (IANS): Saying the BJP has meted out step-motherly treatment to Punjab, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday slammed the Union government for presenting an anti-Punjab, anti-people, anti-farmers and directionless Budget.

"It is shameful that going by its myopic mindset, the Union government has completely ignored the state, thereby bringing a huge disrespect to countless sacrifices made by the brave and hard working Punjabis in pre and post-independent era," Mann said in a statement here.

The Chief Minister said he "is peeved to learn that all genuine demands of Punjab have been blatantly ignored and the state has figured nowhere in the Union budget".

He said after Republic Day, during which the state's tableau was kept out of parade, this is the second deliberate attempt of the BJP-led Centre government to undermine the contribution of Punjab.

Mann said he "fails to understand why the BJP is meting out such step-motherly treatment with Punjab".

He said being a border state they had demanded Rs 1,000 crore for modernisation of the BSF and state police from the Centre. He said this fund is necessary to combat the smuggling of drugs and weapons from across the border, especially through the hi-tech drones.

However, Mann said the Union government gave a cold shoulder to this demand by not allocating budget for it, thereby completely jeopardising security in the border state.

Likewise, the Chief Minister said during pre-Budget meetings they had flagged off the necessity to start Vande Mataram trains from Amritsar and Bathinda to Delhi for facilitating the people.

But, he said, this demand has been completely ignored along with the idea of connecting all the five Takhts of Sikhs through the rail route. This religious circuit would have given boost to tourism in state, besides facilitating the commuters.

The Chief Minister also lamented that the Budget has exposed the anti-farmers stance of the Modi government.

"This is the last budget of the incumbent Modi government but despite fall claims nothing has been done to double the income of the farmers."

Mann said even the government has ran away from giving remunerative MSP on crops to farmers which is unfortunate.

The Chief Minister said they had been pursuing a case of Rs 1,500 crore financial assistance by the Centre to farmers along with matching grants by the state for solving the problem of paddy menace.

However, he said nothing has been done in this regard by the Union government.

The Chief Minister said though Scheduled Tribes have been offered various facilities in budgets but the Schedule Caste and backward classes brethren have been completely ignored.

He said it is totally a scripted paper budget which is both directionless and retrogressive.



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Title: BJP metes out 'step-motherly treatment' to Punjab in Budget: Mann

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