Thursday, June 20, 2024

Punjab

SAD seeks land swap with Pakistan to include Kartarpur in East Punjab on Husainiwala pattern

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | May 18, 2024 05:00 PM

Calls for opening of Attari, Hussainiwala border
JALANDHAR: Warning the people of Punjab against a deep rooted conspiracy to push Punjab back into the dark era of fratricidal bloodshed and state repression through the use of sponsored political rowdy-ism, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today made a strongly positive Panthic and pro-Punjab pitch with emphasis on a genuinely democratic and federal structure with genuine political and fiscal autonomy for the state and preserving the religio-cultural identity of the state.
The manifesto is seeped in the traditional Akali, Panthic and Punjabi idiom and recalls the party’s glorious heritage of struggle and sacrifices by selfless warriors and generals who repeatedly spurned offers of power and quit cabinet berths to stand by the people on issues of high principle.
In its manifesto, which the party described as its “Ailan-nama” for the Lok Sabha poll scheduled for June 1, the party said that a vicious conspiracy was at work to destroy peace and communal harmony in the state to justify a return to police repression, midnight knocks and killing of Sikh youth in fake encounters. “An atmosphere is being created with the help of provocative slogans through some stooges and paid pipers, ” said the SAD president Sardar Sukhir Singh Badal, while releasing the ailan-nama, and emphasized that there is a desperately need to preserve peace and communal harmony in the state to ensure the glory of Panth and Punjab.”
Giving a twin call for “Panthic Principles above Politics” and “Punjab for Punjabis, the SAD Ailan-nama declared that on getting people’s mandate, it will introduce a law to ensure that jobs in Punjab would be reserved for Punjabi youth only. “At present, not only jobs but even our Rajya Sabha seats are being gifted to outsiders and known Punjab haters. Punjab at the moment is being treated a slave colony for resource exploitation. It is being governed from Delhi and for Delhi.” Mr Badal pointed out that some other states already have such provisions.
The party manifesto also declared that, with people’s mandate, it will move to cancel all decisions and settlements on river waters that have been made without Punjab’s concurrence and in violation of the nationally accepted Riparian Principle. Mr Badal also declared that party will seek royalty on its river water given to non-Riparian states and will take all political or legal steps necessary for this.
The manifesto makes a commitment to renew the fight for the inclusion of Chandigarh and other Punjabis peaking areas left out of the state. “Chandigarh was categorical declared to belong to Punjab and was to remain a UT only for five years. We will fight centre’s betrayal of Punjab on this with renewed force.”
The Ailan-nama further says that the party will use its mandate to seek transfer of Kartarpur Sahib from Pakistan to India through mutual land exchange between the two countries as was done in Hussainiwala as well as on the Bangla Desh border. “The party also promises to work through Government of India seeking that the requirement for passport for pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib be dropped and be replaced with simple permit system”.
The Ailaan-nam vehemently opposes attempts and conspiracies of governments to usurp control of sacred shrines and religious institutions of the Khalsa Panth. The party will seek to put an end to the dangerous interference into Sikh religious affairs by non-Sikh forces who have been using some disgruntled Sikh elements as “cosmetic front for their nefarious designs to weaken the Panth from within.”
The party manifesto talks strongly about the need to safeguard the secular, democratic and federal character of the Constitution, with emphasis on preserving the guarantees given to the poor, the backward and other exploited segments, including the scheduled castes and tribes and the minorities. “Secular and democratic values have come under a stress in recent years. Minorities and other exploited sections are being systematically targeted on communal grounds. This needs to stop and SAD will treat this as a priority..”
The manifesto says that apart from discriminating and playing games against the Sikhs, the Centre is “discriminating against and terrorizing other minorities too, including the Muslims, Christian, Bodhis, Jainis. SAD will champion their cause in every sphere.” It also announced to oppose any move at enforcing Uniform Civil Code.
The manifesto sought Special SC Status for Punjab as the state had the highest percentage of SC population in the country. “ SAD will seek Special Allocation for the welfare of SC sections in Punjab
The party will secure clearance of backlog in PMS for SC students. It will also ensure immediate restoration of Guru Ravidas ji Mandir in Tughlakabad, New Delhi.”The manifesto also seeks Constitutional Status for the National Commission for Minorities, with fixed 6 year tenure and Cabinet rank for Chairman and MoS for members. It also opposed the state specific concept of minorities, saying that the Constitution talked clearly about national minorities.
The manifesto demanded the opening of Attari and Hussaininwala borders with Pakistan for trade and tourism to usher in economic prosperity.
It also promised to secure Special Economic Zones (SEZ) status for the entire border.” We will engage with the centre to bring small , medium and MSME industrial units in the border districts”. It also emphasized the need industry-focused skill education institutes in this belt.
SAD also announced to use the people’s mandate to create three Special Economic Hubs, developing Mohali as an IT hub, Malwa belt as Textile Hub and Sri Amritsar Sahib as well Hari ke Patan and areas around Pathankot, Ranjit Sagar Dam as major Tourism Hub of global scale. Simultaneously, the party will strive to get Kandi and Bet areas recognised as Special Zones with a development package as well as industrial concessions at par with those given to Punjab’s neighbouring states. It will also focus on setting up of micro, small and medium scale FOOD PROCESSING UNITS in Punjab as ours is predominantly an agrarian state.
The manifesto further said that as “the largest democratic voice of the farmers and the farm labour”, the SAD “fully backs their struggle for justice”
. The party will use its mandate to bring legal “guarantee for Assured Marketing of farmers’ produce at Minimum Support Price.”
“The SAD will strive to get a ONE TIME LOAN WAIVER for farmers. “ While the govt has waived debt of rich Corporate Houses worth Rs 16 lakhs, there is no reason why the much smaller debt of farmers cannot be waived.” It also promised a 20% SUBSIDY ON DIESEL FOR SMALL AND MARGINAL FARMERS.
The party will seek “skilled worker status” for farmers and farm workers and also bring farm labour under MNREGA. The party said it will seek compensation Rs 50 lakhs to the family of every martyr of the farmers struggle and a government job to one dependent.The party will also demand fulfilment of all promises made by the Government to farmers and farm labour. The party favours the same treatment for growers of vegetables and fruits.
The manifesto says that SAD will seek an upward revision of Personal Income Tax Limit by at least FOUR LAKHS - above the present limit.
The party promises to pursue the One Rank One Pension scheme in the Services. The manifesto opposed the Agniveer scheme and favours regular recruitment on comparable pay scales.
SAD also announced to work for economic security and dignity to ASHA AND MID DAY MEAL WORKERS AS WELL AS ANGANVADIS. “The party will seek to ensure that their services be regularised with decent pay.
Party will also seek a minimum of 150 days for MNREGA workers”.

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