SAD asks Mann to safeguard Punjab’s interests, ensure it is not remote-ruled from Delhi

After a lot of resentment from different political parties and people across Punjab on Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal taking Punjab bureaucrats to a meeting in Delhi without the presence of Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) too joined the queue. SAD asked chief minister Bhagwant Singh Mann to safeguard the interests of Punjab and ensure that the State is not subject to remote control rule by the AAP government in Delhi or taken over by the Centre. It also asked the chief minister to address pressing concerns of farmers who were seeking compensation on account of low wheat yields.

Asking the chief minister to look into these issues immediately, senior SAD leader Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said that instead of tackling the real issues of Punjab, the AAP government was trying to obfuscate them by diverting the attention of the people.

Asserting that recent developments were very dangerous for the State, Dr Cheema said Punjabis were shocked that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was convening meetings of the Punjab chief secretary and the PSPCL Chairman. “The apprehension in the minds of people that the Punjab government would be run by remote from Delhi under AAP rule is proving to be true,” Cheema said.

Asking Mr Bhagwant Mann to clarify the situation immediately, Dr Cheema said how the Delhi chief minister was riding roughshod over constitutional norms had made Punjabis insecure. “Punjabis rightfully fear that the officers of Punjab could be brow beaten to sign away the rights of the State on important issues like river-waters. Mr Mann should understand that he has been elected to office in Punjab and he alone should hold the required meetings and not give this right to the Delhi chief minister,” he added.

He further said that the chief minister should stand up to the Centre and ensure the federal structure was not diluted in any manner. Dr Cheema said even while the chief minister was in Delhi, the Punjab Governor was convening meetings in the border districts of the State. Terming this as unprecedented, the Akali leader said the chief minister should explain if there was a breakdown in the constitutional machinery and the State had failed in its duties due to which the Governor had to intervene.

Dr Cheema also asked the chief minister to address the pressing concerns of the farmers of Punjab. He said due to unusually high temperatures in March, the grain had shriveled leading to low wheat yields. “Mr Mann needs to take up the issue of compensating farmers for this loss with the Centre.” He said besides this, central agencies were proposing to enforce value cuts for shriveled grains. “This issue also needs to be taken up with the Centre on an urgent basis”, he added.

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