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Socialism, secularism hold country together: Punjab CM
Friday January 30, 2015 7:42 PM, IANS

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Friday said that the twin principles of socialism and secularism formed the underlying spirit of the Indian Constitution and any deviation from these two basic tenets would be against the interest of the country.

"India being a land of diversities is endowed with people hailing from various religions, castes, creeds and linguistic backgrounds. Our forefathers had laid special thrust on the concepts of socialism and secularism in our Constitution," Badal said, talking to reporters after an event in Kapurthala district, around 160 km from here.

Badal was reacting to a recent controversy over these words being omitted from advertisements issued by the central government on the occasion of the Republic Day.

Badal said the ideals of socialism and secularism were an integral part of our polity.

"So, there is hardly any need for even debating on this issue," Badal said.

Citing the example of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Badal said that even great monarchs like him had made the principle of secularism an essential part of their governance.

"No country can survive without these doctrines as they firmly hold its social fabric together," he added.

The Shiromani Akali Dal, of which Badal is the patron, is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.

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