Sunday, August 25, 2013
BARNALA: Failure of the implementation of Rajiv-Longowal accord is still haunting Akali leadership after 28 years. Surjit Singh Barnala, who was the Punjab chief minister at that time, said he didn't resign to force the Union government to implement the accord as he didn't want the areas of Abohar and Fazilka to be given to Haryana in return for Chandigarh being made the capital of Punjab.
Barnala had accompanied Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, the then president of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), to sign the accord with late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on July 24, 1985. The octogenarian is often accused of not resigning from the post of CM, in reaction to the accord not being implemented, for his lust for power.
Clearing the air over his decision, Barnala told TOI on Saturday, "I was not hungry for power; rather I wanted to save the Punjabi-speaking areas of the state from being transferred to Haryana. The then Haryana CM Bhajan Lal was making efforts to get Abohar-Fazilka belt to be transferred to Haryana. The Bishnois and other people from Haryana were sent to Abohar and Fazilka to join their relatives to make it appear like a majority Hindi-speaking area."
Third front deliberations on Longowal's death anniversary
Not too enthusiastic about joining hands with the Congress, former Punjab CM Surjit Singh Barnala said the Sanjha Morcha will explore the options of forming a third front on Sunday during the 28th death anniversary event being organized by his party SAD (Longowal). "Janta Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav, former Assam CM Prafulla Mahanata, senior leaders of CPI and CPI (M), and PPP chief Manpreet Singh Badal will come to Longowal. A strategy could be devised to proceed further on the making of a third alternative in Punjab," he stated.
at 7:43 PM