Chandigarh, Jan 1 (PTI) Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce a special package for the border state and a major industrial project for Gurdaspur during his visit to the district on January 3.
“Despite the poor track record of the BJP and the Prime Minister in keeping their promises, people still expect Modi to announce something substantial for the state,” the Gurdaspur MP said in a statement here on Tuesday.
“We have over 1,000 acres of land at Kalanaur, Gurdaspur, which we are willing to give for any industrial project that can generate employment for the youth of the border district,” Jakhar said, adding that the prime minister should also consider announcing some industrial concessions for the border districts, on the lines of the freight equalisation policy.
Modi is scheduled to address a rally at Gurdaspur on January 3.
Jakhar further demanded the prime minister to announce the settlement of the Rs 31,000 crore of “Food Account” on procurement of wheat and paddy, “which was wrongly taken over by the erstwhile SAD-BJP government, instead of being adjusted between the state and central governments”.
“The state government has been pursuing the issue for long and it was high time that Punjab and its people were freed from this unjustified debt burden,” he said.
While thanking the prime minister and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan for the decision to open the Kartarpur Corridor, Jakhar hoped that the Union government would have all the necessary infrastructure in place before the celebrations of the 550th “Prakash Parab” (birth anniversary) of Guru Nanak Dev in November.
Targeting former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, the Congress leader asked if, before stepping on the stage for welcoming and praising Modi, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) would question the prime minister “over going back on his word on the issue of extending help to the Sikh farmers of Gujarat, whose landholdings had been frozen by the Gujarat government”.
“Modi had promised to help these farmers during his 2014 rally in Bathinda, but the Gujarat government had filed an SLP in the Supreme Court against the ‘unanimous’ stay granted by a triple bench of the state high court against the evacuation of the Sikh farmers from their land,” he pointed out.
Jakhar also asked Badal to question Modi on why the Union government had imposed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on “langar”.
“It took us a year of struggle to convince the Centre to withdraw this GST,” he said, while challenging Badal to ask Modi why the tax was even imposed in the first place.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.