Former deputy speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Bir Devinder Singh has said that there seems to be a deep-rooted conspiracy being hatched by the BJP-led NDA government in connivance with Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to rob Punjab of its river waters.
“The recent statement of Union water resources minister Uma Bharti to call a meeting of Punjab and Haryana chief ministers to draw a roadmap for the resolution of the river waters dispute is a manifestation of the conspiracy against Punjab,” Bir Devinder said in a statement.
He stated that on the initiative of then chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab had terminated all river water-sharing agreements and accords made by different authorities before July 12, 2004, by enacting the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004, in the assembly. Bir Devinder said present chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had not only supported the bill in the Vidhan Sabha but also accompanied Amarinder to seek the governor’s assent on the bill.
“The presidential reference on this contentious issue is pending before the Supreme Court for the past more than 10 years. How can Union water resources minister Uma Bharti reopen the issue unilaterally and arbitrarily?” questioned the former deputy speaker.
“I wonder under what sinister design the BJP-led central government intends to reopen the issue which will certainly tantamount to reopening Punjab’s wounds,” he said.
He added that the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal was one of the volatile issues which had triggered unprecedented violence in Punjab, warning the BJP not to tinker with the hard-earned fragile peace of the state.
The government of India must appreciate that Punjab does not have a single drop of river water to spare for any other state, Bir Devinder said.