Delhi gurudwara clash: Parkash Singh Badal wants PM to leash Sheila Dikshit govt

"Though the Punjabis constituted only 2 per cent of the country's population, their contribution in the freedom struggle can never be ignored," the chief minister said.

He said that it was a matter of honour that most of the prominent movements associated with the freedom struggle like Babbar Akali Movement, Kuka Lehar and Ghadar Lehar were led from Punjab.

Badal said that our freedom fighters had laid down their lives for the welfare of our countrymen, but it was the irony of fate that their aspirations had not yet been cherished because they dreamt of an independent India free from the "maladies of illiteracy, unemployment and starvation".

He alleged, "the Centre has miserably failed to realise the dreams of our national heroes even after 65 years of independence."

To pay a befitting tribute to the Punjabis for their immense contribution in the country's freedom struggle, the Punjab government has decided to set up a world class 'Jang-e-Azaadi Memorial' in an area of 25 acre at Kartarpur in Jalandhar district.

This state-of-the-art memorial, which would come up within next two years, would not only showcase the rich legacy of our great heroes but also help in imbibing the spirit of patriotism in our future generations, he said.

To another question regarding the autonomy to states, Badal said the Congress-led UPA government was gradually encroaching upon the rights of the states and eroding the federal structure and paving a way for unitary one, which was not only unconstitutional but also unethical.

He blamed the Centre for "faulty" planning and said "it was reflected in mass unemployment, illiteracy, inflation and corruption."

The Congress has completely ruined the state agriculture due to its discriminatory policies, Badal alleged.

State like Punjab, in which nearly 70 per cent people were engaged in agriculture, had been blatantly ignored by the Centre and they have absolutely no say in such matters to safeguard their interests, the veteran Akali leader said.

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