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June 23, 2024 1:19 am

Majithia to MoS Ravneet Bittu: “Ensure Punjab’s rights vis a vis Chandigarh are implemented”

The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, June 10

Former minister and senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia today asked newly appointed union minister of state Ravneet Singh Bittu to interject and ensure Punjab’s rights vis a vis Chandigarh were respected and implemented in the letter and spirit of decisions taken by the union government while reorganizing the State and creating the union territory.

In a statement here, Bikram Majithia said “Punjabis are perturbed by the insidious attempts to dilute Punjab’s inalienable right to its capital city of Chandigarh which was designated as a UT as a temporary measure. Since Bittu will be the sole representative of Punjabis in the union cabinet he should ensure that all decisions taken by the centre are implemented”.

The SAD leader said as per the ministry of home affairs (MHA) memorandum of November 4, 1966 it was clearly stated that all posts in the UT should be filled from the Punjab and Haryana State cadres. He said the MHA had also stipulated that a committee including representatives of the Punjab and Haryana governments as well as from the UT administration and the MHA should be constituted to absorb personnel against all posts in the UT on a permanent basis.

Majithia said much water had flown since this order with the union government systematically diluting Punjab’s role in the UT administration even as the slide was most prominent in the last ten years. “Now the time has come to correct this situation and Bittu should not be found wanting in this task. As a first step he should ask the MHA to respect its order of November, 1966 in letter and spirit. All means of appointments based on central cadres including the DANIPS cadre for appointment of police personnel should be done away with.

All Punjab and Haryana employees working on deputation should be regularised and all posts falling vacant after weeding out the UT administration of central cadre employees should be filled with employees from Punjab and Haryana”.

Asserting that this would be the first step towards addressing the discriminations done to Punjab, Majithia said he had made this suggestion first as a clear cut order with regard to appointment of employees in the UT existed. “This should be implemented”, he added.

Asserting that a lot more needed to be done, the Akali leader said “Bittu should also ensure reversal of all other anti- Punjab decisions in the UT including giving central grades to employees and ignoring and discriminating against Punjabi language in official work”. He said Bittu should also request the home ministry to reverse its decision to grant land in Chandigarh to Haryana for establishment of a separate Vidhan Sabha.

Asserting that he was confident that Bittu would work to safeguard Punjab’s interests, Majithia said “if this is done it will pave the way for the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab as stated in the Rajiv – Longowal accord which was

acknowledged by both houses of the Parliament as well as by successive governments at the centre. “Even Haryana is committed through the Punjab Accord to the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab which Bittu should pursue earnestly”, Majithia added.

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