Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann accused the BJP-led central government of being 'anti-Punjab,' and said that if they had their way, they would not hesitate to remove the word 'Punjab' from the national anthem. Mann criticised the Center for allegedly withholding the state's rural development funds and forcing it to beg for its share in Goods and Services Tax collection.
Mann made these comments during the first day of the two-day winter session in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
'Anti-Punjab mentality of BJP government'
Participating in a debate following the introduction of the Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Mann asserted that the BJP government at the Center has an "anti-Punjab" mindset. He said despite Punjab being at the forefront in contributing to the nation's food grain production and having the highest representation in the Army, it is disheartening to observe that the Central government has consistently neglected the state. "Every day they do something which shows that Punjab is not a part of the country... The BJP is anti-Punjab," said Mann in the House.
Mann on MSP
"They want the MSP to be abolished... stubble is not being burnt only in Punjab, they want FIRs against farmers but do not pay RDF,” he alleged. “I want to ask the Punjab BJP chief (Sunil Kumar Jakhar) and the former chief minister (Amarinder Singh) that the BJP took so many anti-Punjab decisions and even then you are silent. If the Centre has its way, they would have dropped Punjab from 'Jana Gana Mana'," said Mann.
Mann further accused the BJP of attempting to inflict economic harm on states where it is not in power, in addition to alleging the "misuse" of the CBI and the ED. He asserted that the Narendra Modi government is suffering from an "anti-Punjab syndrome," due to which they are “hell-bent” on ruining the state.
He further claimed that due to the apathy of the Union government, agriculture is no longer a profitable venture but now the Centre is trying to abolish the MSP on food grains. In addition, the Centre is putting the entire onus of environmental pollution in the national capital on the farmers of the state by asserting that they are burning paddy straw, he said.
(With PTI inputs)