Chandigarh: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday demanded Rs 5,000 crore drought relief package from the Centre to bail out farmers from financial crisis.

"The rainfall in Punjab was 46 percent deficit from the normal. The state government has demanded Rs 5,000 crore package from the Centre," he told reporters in Chandigarh.

Pointing out that the Centre has given special packages to Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, he said, "The Centre has refused to give anything to Punjab it is a clear case of discrimination."

He said the Punjab government had sought the package after a high powered central team had visited the state to take stock of the drought like condition.

He urged the Prime Minister and the Agriculture Minister not to "discriminate" against Punjab and release the special package immediately.

The Centre should desist from "suppressing" opposition ruled states, he said. He asked Punjab Congress leaders to take up the issue with the Centre.

He also said that the matter will be raised during the Winter Session of Parliament by Akali Dal MPs.

Taking a dig at Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on his recent remarks on drug problem in Punjab, Sukhbir said, "Don't degrade Punjab people in Chandigarh are your own citizens."
He said the Punjab government was fighting a war against drugs and such "tactics" of Congress would not be tolerated by the Akalis.

Rather, it was the Centre which was responsible for preventing drugs from coming to Punjab from Pakistan and Afghanistan, he added.


Latest News from Punjab News Desk