Hooda asks Punjab to vacate Chandigarh

Last Updated: Sun, Jul 21, 2013 16:50 hrs

Chandigarh, July 21 (IANS) Raking up the controversy over the claim to Chandigarh, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda Sunday said that Punjab should vacate it if it wanted to set up a new city, called New Chandigarh.

Objecting to Punjab's move to develop the area of Mullanpur near Chandigarh as a new city and its proposal to name it New Chandigarh, Hooda said that Chandigarh was a "brand name" and Punjab should not try to copy it.

"It is unethical to do so," Hooda told reporters in Rohtak town Sunday, 70 km from New Delhi.

"If Punjab wants to develop Mullanpur as New Chandigarh, it should first vacate Chandigarh and not claim any right on it by handing it over to Haryana. Then, Haryana would not mind its re-naming Mullanpur as New Chandigarh," he said.

Giving the example of Delhi, Hooda said that when the British shifted from Delhi, they renamed it New Delhi and vacated Old Delhi. "Punjab should follow the same," he added.

The Punjab government has cleared major development plans for Mullanpur by rechristening it as New Chandigarh. The new town is located in close proximity to Chandigarh's boundary.

Chandigarh, a union territory, is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana since November 1966. Both states have been claiming Chandigarh since then.

Hooda also said that Haryana would fight for every drop of water from its share of river waters with Punjab.

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