The Punjab Congress on Saturday called upon state BJP chief Kamal Sharma to seek commitment from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab in accordance with the Punjab Accord and the resolution of the related issues in that spirit.
Congress MLAs Lal Singh, Gurkirat Singh and Parminder Singh issued a joint statement on Saturday, saying that rather than playing to the gallery, Sharma should take up the issue with his party, which was now ruling the Centre, and the two states concerned.
They said that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had taken the initiative of signing the accord with Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, which Akali Dal leader and current chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had tried to sabotage at the very first stage itself.
They said it was appreciable that the BJP in Punjab was now desirous of this accord being implemented. They observed that the sincerity of the party would be proved in case it took it up with the Prime Minister and succeeded in seeking his commitment to facilitate the transfer of the city.
Haryana should be extended all help in building a new capital, which would also boost the economy of the neighbouring state, they said.
The leaders said both Punjab and Haryana could resolve the river waters dispute through bilateral settlement rather than waiting for the judicial verdict that might take years.
They said all water from the Punjab river system was being utilised by three states and it was mainly during the monsoon that water was flowing down to Pakistan.
They said that rather than making the river waters an emotive issue, the approach should be pragmatic with major emphasis on water management techniques in a coordinated manner in all the areas being fed by the Punjab rivers, besides Rajasthan.
It was a known fact that seepage from the Rajasthan canal had created havoc in the Punjab areas; it was for this reason that a comprehensive water management plan should be evolved while resolving the issue, they added.
They said that as a first step, the announcement should be made by the Prime Minister during his upcoming visit about the transfer of Chandigarh without any delay.