What were the main provisions of the Punjab accord? In what way can they be the basis for further tensions between the Punjab and its neighbouring States?

After coming to power following the election in 1984, the new Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi initiated a dialogue with moderate Akali leaders. In July 1985, he reached an agreement with Harchand Singh Longowal, then the President of the Akali Dal. This agreement, known as the Rajiv Gandhi – Longowal Accord or the Punjab Accord.

The main provisions of the accord:

1. Transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab.

2. Appoint separate commission to resolve border dispute between Punjab and Haryana.

3. Setting up of tribunal to settle down the dispute between Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan over Ravi-Beas river.

4. Provide compensation to and better treatment of those affected by the militancy in Punjab.

5. The withdrawal of the application of Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Punjab.

Despite this effort peace couldn’t be established in Punjab:

1. Militancy and counter insurgency violence led to excesses by the police and violations of human rights.

2. It led to fragmentation of the Akali Dal.

3. The central government had to impose President’s rule in the State and the normal electoral and political process was suspended.

Peace returned to Punjab by the middle of 1990s. The alliance of Akali Dal (Badal) and the BJP scored a major victory in1997, in the first normal elections in the State in the post-militancy era. The State is once again preoccupied with questions of economic development and social change.