HomePunjabPunjab needs strong regional party: intellectuals at Anandpur Sahib Seminar

Punjab needs strong regional party: intellectuals at Anandpur Sahib Seminar

Punjab needs strong regional party: intellectuals at Anandpur Sahib Seminar

Bahadurjeet Singh/Anandpur Sahib, January 27,2024

Intellectuals spanning several fields today emphasized the need and relevance of a strong regional party in Punjab to face and resolve the crisis facing the people of the state

In a historic seminar on Challenges facing Punjab and their Resolution,  which was attended by shiromani akali dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal said that only a visionary leadership with a clear and far sighted agenda for Punjab could steer the state towards a positive and prosperous future.

Eminent historians, economists, writers and journalist from across the state participated in the day long seminar which was also addressed by senior Akali leaders.

The intellectuals emphasized the need for strengthening a regional party in Punjab to fight centrist tendencies and to resolve the complex problems facing the state.

The urged the SAD to play that role and take its commitments on s genuinely federal structure in the country forward.

Academicians also spoke on the need to attract investment in the State to create employment besides expressing concern at the flight of capital by way of migration of youth from the State to foreign countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Kuldeep Singh of GND University asserted the SAD should stand by its core principles and philosophy and not deviate from it any manner whatsoever. He also called for a deep introspection on tasks which needed to be done to put Punjab back on track besides highlighting the injustice done to the State on account of loot of its river waters.

Leading political analyst and scholar  Prof Ronki Ram said Sikhs had a distinct identify and should safeguard it. He also stressed how a regional party alone could reflect the voice of the people without any dilution.

Punjab needs strong regional party: intellectuals at Anandpur Sahib Seminar

Noted journalist Satnam Manak said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had the double responsibility of safeguarding both the religious as well as political aspirations of the people of the State. Speaking about the challenges being faced by the State, Mr Manak said “Punjab is suffering because agro based industries were not installed in the State after the green revolution”. He said due to this desired employment could not be created. Mr Manak also urged the SAD to agitate for more fiscal autonomy to States, saying the GST regime was against the interests of the States.

Leading economist Prof Ranjit Singh Ghuman focussed on how money being spent on development had decreased from 72 per cent in 1980-81 to less than 50 per cent in 2021-22. He said investment into the State had also decreased from 30 per cent of GSDP in 1995-96 to 18 per cent currently. He also highlighted how public debt had increased during the current Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) regime which had promised to mobilise revenue but failed to do so. Prof Ghuman also spoke on the flight of capital by way of migration and the need to come out with a policy to stop it. He also urged the SAD to demand re opening of the Wagah border to facilitate trade between Pakistan and India besides calling for resolution of problems being faced by 14.5 lakh micro small industries.

Thanking the intellectuals for sharing their views, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said if Punjab had to be saved it’s leadership should be in the hands of a visionary even as he called for strengthening a regional party like the SAD. He also detailed how unlike now, the erstwhile SAD government had focussed on taking productive debt only and created infrastructure projects with the same. He said debt to GSDP ratio was brought down from 46 per cent to 32 per cent during the SAD tenure. Terming the SAD as the architect of transformation of Punjab, Badal said “we realised that to attract investment infrastructure is needed and built airports and roads and brought in thermal plants”.

Senior SAD leaders Balwinder Singh Bhundar, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra and Dr Daljit Singh Cheema also spoke on the occasion besides Harcharan Singh Bains.



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