CM Bhagwant Mann says central govt was making attempts to usurp the powers vested in the states and tinkering with the federal structure to pursue its political interests
Chandigarh : Chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government of indulging in vendetta politics in states like Punjab, Delhi and West Bengal where its leadership has miserably failed to get people’s mandate.
The chief minister, while wrapping up the discussion on the resolution moved by him, said the Centre was making attempts to usurp the powers vested in the states and tinkering with the federal structure to pursue their political interests. He said that step-motherly treatment was being meted out by the Centre to Punjab. “Punjab asked for extra power from the central pool, but they refused and gave it to Haryana. Delhi had to file a petition in the high court to get a stay on this,” he said, condemning the Centre’s attitude.
Mann also narrated an incident from his days as MP, saying that ultras attacked the Pathankot airbase in 2016 and the state police force accompanied by the central security forces retaliated the attack and assisted in eliminating terrorists without caring for their personal safety. “To my utter surprise, the Centre raised a bill of ₹7.5 crore for providing Central security forces to the state. This amount was finally waived after I along with fellow MP Sadhu Singh met the then Union home minister Rajnath Singh,” he said.
Mann said it was highly paradoxical that the border state, which was facing the brunt of terrorism, was also being made to pay hefty amount on account of its security.
Mann also hit out at the BJP for questioning his government’s intention behind the resolution reiterating the state’s claim over Chandigarh. Taking a jibe at BJP legislator Ashwani Sharma, Mann said they (BJP leaders) get their speeches straight from Nagpur, which is the headquarters of the RSS. “I have heard a lot about ‘Nagpuri santre’ (oranges from Nagpur) but I heard ‘Nagpuri’ speech for the first time. They get their address straight from Nagpur,” the chief minister said.
Sharma, while opposing the resolution, had questioned in the House the intention behind it.
Takes swipe at Cong leaders
Mann also took swipes at the Congress leaders, starting with his predecessor Charanjit Singh Channi without naming him directly. “We know how to run the state. Those who used to say that running the stage and state are different are not visible anywhere in the state or stage,” he said.
“The one who used to say thoko taali has not come here,” the CM said, taking a dig at former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu without naming him.
Speaking on the drugs issue, the chief minister said he failed to understand that despite the border of Rajasthan having an area more than 2.5 times and little over half of J&K’s border along with Pakistan without fencing was hardly facing any problem of drug abuse while Punjab was still grappling with the menace of drugs.
He said ‘chitta’ was being manufactured in the state and those involved in such heinous activities and responsible for genocide of Punjabi youth would be soon unmasked.
On his first day, Rana Inder Partap sent out of House for interrupting CM
Punjab assembly speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan on Friday ‘named’ first-time legislator Rana Inder Partap Singh for repeatedly interrupting chief minister Bhagwant Mann’s speech.
Rana Inder, an independent MLA from Sultanpur Lodhi, was ‘named’ and sent out on his first day in the state assembly. During the discussion on the official resolution seeking Chandigarh’s transfer to Punjab, he supported the resolution before switching to another issue. The speaker did not allow him to raise the issue that was not related to the resolution.
Later, when Mann was addressing the House to wrap up the discussion and speaking on ground water, Rana Inder sprang to his feet and started speaking. The speaker asked him to take his seat, but he kept speaking. There was din in the House and the speaker expunged much of what Rana Inder spoke, warning the MLA of action. When Rana Inder’s father and Congress member Rana Gurjeet Singh tried to intervene, the CM said that he (Gurjeet) should have told his son what to speak on his first day in the House. Sandhwan ‘named’ Rana Inder and asked the marshals to evict him. The first-time MLA, however, went out of the House. Earlier, the speaker had administered the oath to Rana Gurjeet and Rana Inder as members at the start of the day’s proceedings.