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Bhagwant Mann has sold off interests of Punjab to Delhi in garb of ‘Knowledge Sharing Agreement’: Sukhbir Badal

Chandigarh, April 26, 2022 (Yes Punjab News)
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today said Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann had sold off the interests of Punjab to Delhi in the garb of a Knowledge Sharing Agreement and now AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal had become the de-facto chief minister of Punjab.

Terming the development as a black day in the history of Punjab, the SAD President said never before in the history of the State had outsiders been given control of the State and its future generations in this manner. “A municipality president has been given charge of chief ministership of Punjab. Punjab has become subservient to Delhi which is not even a State”.

Asking the Punjab chief minister to explain why he had betrayed Punjab and its people by surrendering its autonomy to Delhi, Mr Sukhbir Badal said Bhagwant Mann had hurt the pride of Punjabis. “The agreement makes it clear that all ministers and officers of Punjab will now report to Kejriwal and that the latter will have access to all Punjab government files.

This is also a case of violation of the official secrecy act even as clause 3 of the agreement binds future governments to decisions taken under it. We will approach the Punjab Governor and urge him to direct the chief minister to withdraw his assent to the anti-Punjab agreement. The party will also plan its next course of action in an emergency meeting of its core committee”.

Asserting that the “agreement” could have dangerous repercussions, Mr Badal said “we apprehend that a situation could arise whereby Kejriwal could force the Punjab chief minister to sign away the State’s river waters to Haryana and Delhi in the same manner in which Congress chief minister Darbara Singh was coerced into doing so by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi”. He said the situation had already taken a turn for the worst. “Punjab ministers are now even finding it difficult to defend their State with the food and civil supplies minister offering only ‘no comments’ when asked to spell out Punjab’s stand on the SYL canal”.

Asking Bhagwant Mann not to act like a rubber stamp and cancel the agreement if he had any Punjabi pride, Mr Badal said the chief minister should know that Kejriwal had his eyes on the chief minister’s chair of Punjab from the very beginning. “Immediately after the AAP government was sworn in, Kejriwal started summoning the State chief secretary and police chief to Delhi and even deciding on transfers and postings. When this attracted criticism a conspiracy was hatched to institutionalize the arrangement by bringing in the ‘Knowledge Sharing Agreement” which is nothing but a document designed to hand over the administrative control of Punjab to the Delhi government”.

Referring to today’s press conference in Delhi where the purported agreement between the two States was signed, Mr Badal said the Punjab chief minister said he wanted to learn and take benefit of the Delhi Model whereas Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had gone on record to having said Delhi copied the Meritorious School model of Punjab which was put in place by former CM Parkash Singh Badal.

Mr Badal said the Punjab CM was also not aware of the strides made by Punjab in the field of Education and Health during the erstwhile SAD led government. He said it was the truth that Delhi ranked 32nd in the national performance grading of schools whereas earlier during the SAD led government Punjab had secured the second position in a national survey on school education.

He said it was also a fact that only 203 out of 1027 government schools in Delhi had Principals and that there was an overall shortage of 24,500 teachers in Delhi. He said similarly in the case of Health, 270 out of the 480 Mohalla Clinics were non-operational even as the Health infrastructure of the Delhi government had collapsed during the Covid crisis.

He said the Punjab chief minister apparently even forgot to tell his counterpart that the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Preparatory schools started by S Parkash S Badal resulted in 97 cadets joining NDA and that 65 products of these academies had become commissioned officers in the army.

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