Chandigarh. Slamming the BJP led Union government for rejecting the tableau of state for the Republic Day parade, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Wednesday said that the ‘power mad’ centre government is demeaning and humiliating the enormous sacrifices made by Punjabis in the national freedom struggle.
“This is not for the first time but last year also the BJP led Union government had done the same mischief and by rejecting the tableau this year too, centre has rubbed salt into wounds of the state” said the Chief Minister.
Interacting with the media persons here today at Punjab Bhawan, the Chief Minister said that it is unfortunate that on one hand the devotees from across the globe are paying obeisance at Sri Fatehgarh to pay homage to chotta Sahibzadas Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh along with Mata Gujri ji whereas on the other hand BJP government is playing such dirty tactics to humiliate Punjab. He said that martyrdom and sacrifices is part of the glorious heritage of the state which was to be duly highlighted in the tableaus of state. However, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that by rejecting these nationalistic and progressive ideas of tableaus, the Union government has insulted the sacrifice made by great patriots and national leaders.
The Chief Minister categorically said that this step motherly treatment with the state is totally unacceptable and unwarranted. He said that the unfortunate thing is that this decision has been taken during the days when the entire globe is bowing before the supreme and unprecedented sacrifice made by the chotta Sahibzadas and Mata Gujri ji for humanity. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the tyrant Modi government has forgotten that Punjabis had made unprecedented sacrifices both for attaining and preserving freedom besides safeguarding the borders of the country.
The Chief Minister said that had these tableaus from state been included in the Republic Day then it would have enhanced the prestige of this parade in which the French President will be the chief guest this year. He said that every state highlights its legacy in this parade but for the last two years, the Modi government has deliberately kept Punjab out of this mega national event. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this year also more than 90% states that have been selected for tableaus are being ruled by the BJP, which indicates the ongoing saffronisation of Republic Day and Independence Day by the Modi government.
The Chief Minister said that this year too, the state government had duly submitted three ideas viz. Punjab-history of sacrifice and martyrdom, Mai Bhago- the First Lady warrior of Sikhism (women empowerment) and Rich heritage of Punjab. He said that these ideas were duly submitted on time with the Union government for their approval. However, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the union government had ignored the immense contribution of the state by rejecting these ideas.
The Chief Minister said that it is unfortunate that the Union government is making mockery of the state and its immense contribution in nation building. He reminded the Union government that even if Andaman and Nicobar have to present something in their tableau, then also Punjab will be there because India’s freedom struggle is replete with contributions of Punjab and Punjabis, which can never be ignored. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this is a grave conspiracy of the BJP led Union government to undermine the sacrifices of Punjab to uphold unity, sovereignty and integrity of the country.
Training his guns against the sycophants of BJP, the Chief Minister said these people eulogize the tableaus of Modi, that are being run across the country these days, but they are against the idea of a tableau of great Martyrs. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this move has once again exposed the anti-Punjab face of the BJP. He dared the BJP leaders including Captain Amarinder Singh, Sunil Jakhar, RP Singh, Manjinder Sirsa and others to explain why grave injustice is being done with the state by their government at centre.
The Chief Minister reiterated that the Modi government is suffering from anti-Punjab syndrome due to which they are hell bent on ruining the state. He said that if the will of BJP led NDA government prevails then they will omit the name of Punjab from the national anthem also. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that it is surprising that despite this step motherly treatment the state BJP leaders are mum on the entire issue.
The Chief Minister said that the Union government is not able to digest all the pro-people decisions taken by the state government for the welfare of the common man. He said that funds for Aam Aadmi Clinics under the National Health Mission were stalled by the Union government adding that the funds for Rural Development Funds worth Rs 5500 crore have also been stopped by the centre government to disallow state for constructing roads in rural areas. Bhagwant Singh Mann further said that the Union government has maliciously stalled the Mukh Mantri Teerth Yatra Scheme by not giving the trains to the state despite advance payment.
The Chief Minister said that the trains to Varanasi, Patna Sahib, Nanded Sahib, Ajmer Sharif and others have been deliberately stopped by the Union government. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the sole motive is to deprive people of not paying obeisance at revered places adding that these designs of union government will not be successful. He quipped that though the Prime Minister is daily boasting about double engine government but Railways is citing that they have no engine to run trains for this pro-people scheme.
The Chief Minister said that what use of such a double engine government is if the people don’t get benefits of the schemes aimed for their welfare. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that he will vehemently raise the issue of not including the tableau of the state with the Union government. He said that even if the centre does not include these tableaus in the Republic Day parade, the state government will include this in all the functions to be held across Punjab on January 26 and perpetuate the rich legacy of the state amongst the masses.
The Chief Minister said that as head of the state he accepts the challenge posed by the Union government head on because the saffron party can’t disrespect Punjab, which fills the food bowl of the country and protects its borders, by such tactics. He said that these are unacceptable because they bruise the psyche of every Punjabi by directly hitting their pride and dignity. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state government is already making strenuous efforts to make Punjab self-reliant so that they don’t have to seek help from the centre in any matter.