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Badal asks CM Bhagwant Mann to withdraw his statement on Chandigarh or be ready to face an agitation

Appeals to PM to understand sentiments of Pbis and transfer Chd to Punjab, says will meet PM and HM on this issue soon)

(Says Chd an inalienable part of Punjab and with the UT status being temporary, the union govt was only serving as its caretaker)

(Calls emergency core comm meeting on July 12, says ready for any sacrifice to prevent any land being given to Haryana)

Chandigarh (Gurpreet) – Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal today warned Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to immediately withdraw his dangerous statement on Chandigarh which had surrendered Punjab’s rights over the union territory or be ready to face a full scale agitation on this issue by Punjabis.

Asserting that the chief minister had backstabbed Punjabis and poured water over their aspirations to not only regain Chandigarh, Punjabi speaking areas left behind in Haryana as well as its river waters, Mr Sukhbir Badal said “Mr Bhagwant Mann alone is responsible for the current crisis which has threatened Punjab’s hold on Chandigarh”. He said the chief minister had himself harmed the interests of the State during a meeting with the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court in which he demanded a separate piece of land for a high court building of the State. “This demand gave Haryana a chance to seek land for a separate Vidhan Sabha in the union territory”.

Asserting that no Punjabi could surrender the interests of the State in this fashion, Mr Badal said “it seems Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Convener Arvind Kejriwal has made him give this statement under a conspiracy to erode all standing rights of Punjab. “We will not let this conspiracy succeed at any cost and have called an emergency meeting of the party’s core committee on July 12 to chalk out our next course of action”.

Addressing a press conference on this development, the SAD President also categorically told the central government that Chandigarh was an inalienable part of Punjab and that the party would not allow Haryana to take over any land in the union territory to build a new Vidhan Sabha or High Court. “We are ready to make any sacrifice needed for this”, he added.

Mr Sukhbir Badal also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to understand the sentiments of Punjabis and transfer Chandigarh to Punjab. He said the central government was at best a caretaker as far as Chandigarh was concerned with the issue having been decided in 1966 during the reorganization of States and later by the Rajiv – Longowal accord in 1985 which had been passed by parliament as well as the Haryana assembly. He also announced that the SAD would meet the Prime Minister as well as the Home Minister to apprise them of the situation besides informing them that Haryana did not have any right to take over any fresh piece of land in Chandigarh.

The SAD President, who was accompanied by senior leaders including Balwinder Singh Bhundur and Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, also detailed how Chandigarh had been established by uprooting Punjabis speaking villages of Kharar Tehsil. “This in itself gives Punjab natural right over Chandigarh, a fact which has not been disputed by the centre or Haryana but has come under threat due to the compromised statement of the Punjab chief minister”.

Mr Badal also related how the Punjab chief minister had successively failed to protect the interests of Punjab recently be it lack of any opposition to removing the permanent member representing Punjab in the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), failing to oppose central pay scales to government employees in Chandigarh and not speaking up immediately against the move to convert Panjab University into a central University.

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