You're not above government: Akali Dal to Punjab Congress
Terming it "unconstitutional", the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab Monday objected to a bid by Punjab Congress to get the central government to take it into confidence while dealing with the Akali Dal-BJP government in the state.
Akali Dal secretary and spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema took strong objection to the statement of leader of opposition Sunil Jakhar, asking union ministers to take the Punjab Congress into confidence before dealing with the Akali government in the state.
Cheema said: "The action of the Congress party is totally illegal, unconstitutional and highly unjustified. The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee must know that it is not above the elected state government."
"It appears that the Punjab Congress party, instead of dealing with public issues, is banking on the support of the central government for its survival in the state," Cheema said.
He said the meeting between union Minister Ajay Maken and Jakhar recently and the subsequent statement by Jakhar was another instance of "unconstitutional action" by Congress leaders in recent days.
"Earlier the state Congress leadership had protested against Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for not dealing with local Congress leaders before meeting representatives of the Punjab government during his recent Amritsar visit," Cheema pointed out.
He said the founders of the constitution had clearly demarcated the duties of the union and state governments and their mutual conduct, but the state Congress leadership is trying to defy this well established protocol and create hindrance in the development process initiated by the Akali Dal-BJP government of Punjab.
Cheema added that at a time when centre-state relations were at low ebb and many state governments were demanding that these be re-shaped, the actions of the state Congress leadership are bound to further erode the confidence between the state and central governments.
The Akali Dal leader pointed out that prior to the assembly elections in Punjab in January next, state Congress president Amarinder Singh had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking that the centre refuse grants to the state; he had also urged industrialists not to invest in the state.
"It has become a one-point programme of the Congress to oppose the state's interests. They should shed their anti-Punjab stance," he said.