Haryana will get Chandigarh; Punjab may well claim Lahore, Shimla: Hooda

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 25, 2013 16:20 hrs

Chandigarh, July 25 (IANS) As the verbal fight between Punjab and Haryana over Chandigarh continues, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda Thursday said that Haryana would "definitely get" Chandigarh.

Talking to reporters here, Hooda said the area on which Chandigarh was built was earlier part of Ambala district, now in Haryana.

"Chandigarh belongs to Haryana, as earlier it was a part of Ambala. We will definitely get it," Hooda said.

"I wonder on what basis they (Punjab) are staking a claim on Chandigarh, as initially Chandigarh was a part of Ambala. They are claiming Chandigarh on the basis of Chandigarh being the capital of the erstwhile Punjab. If that is the basis of their argument, then Lahore and Shimla too have been the capitals of Punjab. Why don't they stake a claim on Lahore and Shimla also?" Hooda asked.

Hooda's remarks came following a statement by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal that Chandigarh belonged to Punjab and that Haryana should leave it.

Chandigarh, a union territory spread over 114 sq km, is the joint capital of both Punjab and Haryana.

After partition in 1947, there was need to develop a new capital for the state of Punjab, as Lahore, its earlier capital, went to Pakistan. India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned the French architect Le Corbusier to design a city that would be forward-looking, so that a new chapter could be written that did not look back on a painful history. Work on Chandigarh began in the 1950s.

Hooda recently objected to Punjab coming up with a new town near Chandigarh, and naming it New Chandigarh.

"We have also developed Panchkula and are developing Kalka and Pinjore. However, Chandigarh is a brand name, and one should not copy it. That is completely unethical," Hooda had said.

The name Chandigarh -- fort of Chandi -- is drawn from the Chandi Mandir, the ancient temple dedicated to goddess Chandi near the city.

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