Sri Anandpur Sahib: Accusing the Congress-led UPA of excessive centralisation of power, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday said states have been reduced to the status of "dignified municipal committees."
"Rather than helping, the central government has usurped the rights of the states, rendering them to the status of dignified municipal committees," the 85-year-old five-time Chief Minister said, while addressing a public gathering. Stressing on setting up of a "genuinely federal structure" in the country, Badal said the sole reason for the fiscal mess in many states, "is the excessive centralisation of powers by the UPA government".
"The federal structure is the need of the hour to ensure balanced regional growth," he said adding that the Centre should redefine central-state relations. Lashing out at the Congress he said, "The people of Punjab have shown the door to Congress leaders due to their dubious track record of remaining mute spectators on the face of grave injustice with the state."
By exorbitantly hiking fertiliser prices and other agricultural inputs like diesel, "the Union government has broken the back of farmers," Badal alleged. The Centre s mere Rs 500 crore allocation for green revolution states, primarily Punjab, was "just peanuts to undertake massive crop diversification programme, to pull out the beleaguered peasantry," he added.