April 20, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government seems to have totally surrendered before the Centre. There were indications to this effect earlier also especially when Capt. Amarinder Singh sung the tune of the Centre against Canadian Sikh ministers.
A press release issued yesterday by Punjab Chief Minister’s Office says: “Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday urged Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for a comprehensive strategy to tackle the re-emergence of extremism in Punjab, which he said was threatening to once again disturb the peace and stability of the state”.
The statement reveals that Capt. Amarinder Singh “suggested” the Centre to strengthen its intelligence apparatus, besides action against alleged “foreign handlers based in Canada, UK, USA, Italy, Germany”, who are actively engaged in activities for revival of [militancy] in Punjab.
Amarinder Singh also stressed on “need for countering social media activities” and maintained that “strengthening the state government’s `Connect with Your Roots’ programme would also help in controlling such activities”.
As per the statement: “citing the state’s security concerns, the Chief Minister reiterated the demand for central assistance in the modernization of the police forces”.
“An official spokesperson disclosed later that the Home Minister agreed to look into the state’s demands under the Modernization of Police Forces Scheme (MPF Scheme)”, the statement reads further (without disclosing the name of such spokesperson).
As per the statement, the Chief Minister said that under MPF, Punjab should be designated as a Category-A State for financial assistance at 90:10 Centre-State sharing basis on the pattern of J&K and 8 North eastern states. He also sought allocation of additional funds to Punjab under MPF Scheme for ‘Strengthening of the State Special Branch’ for various “Law and Order (L&O) challenges” being faced by the state.
It is notable that Capt. Amarinder Singh led government in Punjab is facing severe criticism from opposition for its failure on multiple front and for not fulfilling its promises made with the people of Punjab at the time of assembly elections. The government has been urging the Centre for financial assistance but of no avail.
About two months back (in February), Punjab CM and finance minister were snubbed by Dr Rajiv Kumar, vice chairman of India’s NITI Aayog when they asked for Centre’s financial assistance. Their pleas regarding ‘contribution of Punjab towards food security of India’ were met with hard replies as Dr Rajiv Kumar had told Capt. Amarinder Singh and Manpreet Badal that they could leave the food security of the country to them (the Centre).
This time Capt. Amarinder Singh has tried a different tune to convince the Centre to release financial assistance for the state but by doing so Capt. Amarinder Singh is proving himself more to be an appointee of the Centre than assuming the role of a representative of the people of Punjab.