Published October 31, 2012 | 12:37 pm
Chandigarh: Punjab was created after a long struggle but important demands of people like transfer of Chandigarh as its capital and merger of Punjabi speaking areas with the state are yet to be fulfilled, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said on Wednesday.
“The new Punjab has emerged after a great struggle and still lot was to be done to cherish aspirations of the Punjabis as far as the long pending demands of the transfer of Chandigarh as its capital and Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab are concerned,” Badal said.
Felicitating the people of Punjab on the eve of ‘new Punjab day’ (formation of Punjab), Badal recalled the sacrifices of Punjabis in the country’s freedom movement and their contribution in the post independent period.
He said that the state was termed as “sword arm and food basket of India” and it became self-reliant in the food production despite the fact that Punjabis just constituted 2 % of country’s population.
Meanwhile, Punjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira appealed Badal to observe November 1 in a befitting manner, by declaring it a public holiday and honouring leaders like Jathedar Darshan Singh Pheruman, who sacrificed their lives for the formation of Punjab.
Congress demanded that Punjab Govt. should held a state level function to honour stalwart leaders like Master Tara Singh, Justice Gurnam Singh, Giani Kartar Singh, Sant Fateh Singh and even the then PPCC President Gurmukh Singh Musafir who exerted pressure on congress high command for creation of Punjabi Suba. The govt. should have suitably honoured the families of Ranjit Singh of Sra Talwandi, Jaswant Singh of Kot Dasaundhimal, Najar Singh of Kaironwal all of Taran Taran District and Chainchal Singh of Sultanwind in Amritsar district who were shot dead in Bathinda central jail on October 9, 1960.
A memorial built in their memory in Bathinda is also in a dilapidated state.
Opposition leaders said that it is saddening to note that while Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are celebrating the formation of their states with great fervour, Punjab has totally forgotten the Punjabi Suba Day. Neither the SAD-BJP government declared a public holiday nor glorification those who sacrificed their lives for the state and the Punjabi language.
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today greeted the Punjabis on the New Punjab Day adding said that Punjab had made rapid strides in every sphere after its creation as new state.