With an upset Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal complaining to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for not being invited to Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi’s event, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Thursday said he is surprised at the former’s angst, and added that people who possibly have a right to complain are the MPs and the ministers of Punjab who are treated as complete outsiders by the state government
“I am quite surprised at the angst of the Chief Minister of Punjab. Never ever has any Punjab Member of Parliament or, forget a Union Minister, been invited for any programme of the state government where the union government contributes substantively,” he told media here.
Tewari also used the occasion to highlight the economic condition of Punjab, presently ruled by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance government
“Everybody knows as to what the economic condition of Punjab is. The state is dithering on the brink of bankruptcy. If it would not be for the sustained central help which has been coming all along not withstanding the conflicting stands which the Punjab Government takes in Delhi and the moment they cross the border of Punjab,” said Tewari.
“I am quite surprised. The shoe seems to be on the other. The people who possibly have a right to complain are the MPs and the ministers of Punjab who are treated as complete outsiders by Punjab Government. Is that not violation of the federal spirit?” he asked
Badal had shot off an angry letter to the Prime Minister, saying that he had not been invited to the event where a major cancer hospital is to be inaugurated in Punjab and to be attended by Rahul Gandhi
The Chief Minister has in his letter said that not inviting Punjab’s Akali Dal Government to the event was a violation of the federal system
Rahul Gandhi and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad will attend the inauguration of the 500-bed cancer hospital in Sangrur, 120 km from Chandigarh, to be run by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.