The Punjab Assembly on Friday unanimously adopted the resolution, moved by the leader of House and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, urging the Centre to transfer Chandigarh to Punjab.

The House also implored the Central government to honour the principles of federalism enshrined in the Constitution and not to take any steps which may disturb the balance in the administration of Chandigarh and that of other common assets like the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB).

However, BJP MLA Ashwani Sharma opposed the resolution while taking part in the deliberations on the resolution and subsequently walked out from the Assembly in protest.

Winding up the discussions after taking into consideration the points raised by various members of treasury and opposition benches during one-day special sitting of first session of 16th Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mann said his government would exploit all channels by seeking prior appointment from the Centre to call on the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to mount pressure on the Union government in order to take their fight for legitimate rights of Punjab to its logical end.

Giving a clarion call to all members of opposition, Mann solicited wholehearted support and cooperation from all the parties, thus cutting across political affiliations as this issue was quite sensitive and of immense emotional and social significance.

"Therefore, in the larger public interest all of us should unite on a common platform to get the justifiable demands of state implemented from the Centre in the letter and spirit," he said.

Sharing his past experience as a parliamentarian, Mann exhorted all the MPs and MLAs from the state to exhibit the same spirit of unity and bonhomie as often demonstrated by the leaders of southern states to safeguard the rights of their respective states rising above the vested interests and petty personal considerations.

Lambasting the BJP-led Central government, Mann said its leadership was bent upon to indulge in vendetta politics in general and especially in states like Punjab, Delhi and West Bengal where its leadership has failed to get people's mandate for formation of its government.

He also assailed the Centre for usurping the powers vested in the states, thus tinkering with the federal structure to pursue their political interests.

Citing an example how the Centre thrusted three anti-farmer laws and later repealed them after buckling under tremendous pressure due to farmers' angst across the country.

Referring to apathetic and step motherly treatment meted out to Punjab by the Centre, Mann as MP narrated an incident when ultras attacked the Pathankot airbase in 2016 and the state police force accompanied by Central security forces valiantly retaliated the attack and assisted in eliminating terrorists without caring for their personal safety.

To his utter surprise, Mann said the Centre had raised a bill of Rs 7.50 crore for providing Central security forces to the state in this regard.

He said this amount was finally waived off with the personal intervention of then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh following his meeting along with his fellow MP Sadhu Singh.

"It is highly paradoxical that the border state which is facing the brunt of terrorism is also made to pay hefty amount on account of its security," he added.

Source : IANS

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