Addressing a gathering during a Sangat Darshan programme here in Gurdaspur district, Badal described the residents of border areas as "true patriots" and said that they have braved every odd to preserve the unity and integrity of the country.

The Chief Minister said that the partition and wars with Pakistan in the post-independence era had given a fatal blow to the development and prosperity of the border-towns of the state.

"Cities like Amritsar, Kalanaur, Ferozepur, Fazilka and others which were once the industrial and trading hubs of undivided Punjab have been now reduced to petty trading centers.”

"Not only this but people of these border cities had to bear the brunt of even slightest tension at the border. Unfortunately, instead of recognizing their enormous contribution in preserving the unity and integrity of the country, the Union government has completely turned a blind eye towards these areas," he alleged.

Badal said that it was on record that instead of granting any special package for the industry, agriculture or any other sector in these areas, the Congress-led Union governments had "deliberately framed policies" which resulted in the exodus of industries from these areas.

However, the Chief Minister said that on its part the state government was making all out efforts to herald a new era of unprecedented development in these areas.

During his address the Badal also impressed upon residents at the border areas to make a suitable choice in the forthcoming general elections by voting the NDA to power at the Centre, so as to give fillip to the overall development of the state.

The SAD veteran also predicted a clean sweep by the SAD-BJP alliance in the forthcoming Delhi Assembly elections.

He said that fed-up with the Congress' "misrule", both in Delhi and at the Centre, people are eagerly waiting to show them the door.


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