FATEGARH SAHIB: Union Home Minister S.B.Chavan an announced on Sunday that the spadework for a central package for Punjab had been completed and was awaiting the Prime Ministers final decision.

Addressing a gathering on the formal inauguration of the new district of Fategarh the 14th in the State Chavan said the Central Government would support the Beant Singh Government to the hilt in order to put Punjab back on the path of peace and development.”

Chavan said he had completed the spadework for a Central package for Punjab during the course of his discussions with the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana.

However a final decision would be taken by Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao who would then make an announcement on the subject during his visit to Punjab either in May or June he told reporters later.

Chavan refused to divulge the Contents of the package saying only that the Punjab Chief Minister would meet the Prime Minister in New Delhi in the first week of May after which the Prime Ministers much-awaited Punjab visit would be finalized

Chavan appealed to the “misguided youth” who he said were killing innocent people on directions from Pakistan to understand and follow the teachings of their great gurus if they believed in religion

While claiming a discernible change in the mood of the people he exhorted them to join hands frustrating the designs of Pakistan to destabilize the country He hope that the youth would come forward and take the lead in making sacrifices to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country

Reiterating the Government’s Commitment to generate greater employment opportunities in Punjab Chavan said the Government would fulfill its pre-election promise of recruiting 5000 youth in the paramilitary forces.

Referring to the Rs 640 crore the State Government owed the Center he said he would do his best to help out State Finance Minister.

Asked whether the Central Government would apologize for Operation Bluestar he said it was for the Prime Minister to decide Replying to a question on whether the Government would take Opposition parties into confidence before making an announcement on Punjab Chavan said he was personally against it as discussing he issues with the chief ministers so concerned was adequate. Speaking on the occasion Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh lashed out at the Akalis for rousing the passions of the youth in the name of religion and ushering them on to the path of violence. He said misguided youth had forgotten sacrifices made by Guru Gobind Singh.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 8, 1996