MUKTSAR: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs 1.25 lakh crore for poll-bound Bihar, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said Punjab deserves the special economic package most in the country.
"We are not seeking any concession from the Centre but special economic package is our right," Badal said.
Badal said Punjab had suffered a lot for national cause, first during partition and then during the black days of militancy even though it had contributed enormously to freedom struggle, also made the country self-reliant in food production and safeguarded the borders from external invasion.
Bemoaning that the successive Congress governments at the Centre didn't recognise the state's contribution, he said instead of rewarding Punjab, the Congress governments gave a fatal blow to its economy by giving incentives to neighbouring states which resulted in mass exodus of industry from Punjab.
"It is high time that the Centre must take a call on the issue for giving a fillip to overall development of the state," he said.
Stating that he had raised the issue with the Centre a number of times, Badal said, he would again vehemently plead for it and personally take up this matter so that the state could receive a special package.
He said the state government would leave no stone unturned for getting a package for the state on lines of the one given to Bihar.
On the prospects of Lok Sabha MP Captain Amarinder Singh being handed over the reign of Congress in the state, the Chief Minister said it hardly makes any difference to them.
He said that Captain might be the 'most popular' leader of the party for his "sycophants" but the SAD-BJP alliance has drubbed the Congress twice, in 2007 and 2012, under his leadership.
The SAD-BJP alliance enjoys support of people due to its pro-people and development-oriented policies, so they hardly bother about who is made the Congress state President, Badal said.
Refuting allegations of a verbal war between Congress leaders Captain Amarinder and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal over tacit support from SAD for their poll victories, Badal said Akalis neither gives nor takes support from opposition leaders and only strengthens its base by ensuring victory of its own candidate.
"The statement from both the senior leaders of Congress are baseless, irrelevant and highly misleading," he added.