Amritsar, September 26
The 31st meeting of the Northern Zonal Council (NZC) under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Amit Shah was held today in Amritsar.
The NZC comprises Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territories of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Chandigarh.
In this meeting, Punjab CM Bhagwant Singh Mann, Punjab Governor Banwari Lal Purohit, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Vinay Kumar Sexena, Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Brig BD Mishra and representatives of other states registered their attendance.
During the meet, brainstorming sessions will be held on the various issues pertaining to these states. Punjab could take this opportunity to have its claim over Chandigarh as capital, besides taking up the issue of water sharing with neighbouring states, affiliation to Panjab University, Himachal Pradesh government’s decision to levy water cess on hydro-power projects, etc.
The NZC is to take up the matters related to Bhakra-Beas Management Board, reorganisation of states, infrastructure development, regional connectivity under the UDAN scheme and issues of common interest at the regional level.
Earlier, Punjab cabinet ministers Harpal Singh Cheema and Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal received the Union Home Minister at Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport here. CM Bhagwant Singh Mann, being the host, welcomed the dignitaries on their arrival.
Ahead of the high profile meeting, tight security arrangements have been made in Amritsar.
A group of farmers under the banner of Kirti Kisan Union, had planned to lodge their protest against the Union Home minister’s arrival, but they were detained by the police near the airport. They carried black flags and sported black turbans on their heads as a protest mark.
Farm leader Dhanwant Singh Khatrai Kalan said that his colleagues were taken to Rajasansi police post. “We were to lodge a protest against the Centre’s anti-farmers policies,” he said.
Meanwhile, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on social media urged CM Bhagwant Mann to take a stand in the interest of Punjab and Punjabis during the NZC meet. He said that the CM should make it clear that Chandigarh belonged to Punjab and that no land would be spared for construction of separate Haryana Vidhan Sabha. He said that the CM should also outline the state’s stand on SYL canal and Riparian Principle as Punjab does not have a single drop of water to spare for other states. He emphasized that no college of Haryana be affiliated to Panjab University, besides calling for reversion of old guidelines in appointments of Chairman and members of BBMB.
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