Don’t let Punjab de-notify SYL land: Haryana parties to guv

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 13, 2016 09:40 IST
The resolution passed during the all-party meeting described Punjab’s move as an “unconstitutional and mischievous act of hindering the process of the Supreme Court’’ which was hearing the case. (HT Photo)

Amid water-sharing row, all political parties of Haryana, barring the Congress, on Saturday unanimously passed a resolution requesting Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki to stop Punjab from bringing a bill de-notifying the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal land.

The resolution passed during the all-party meeting described Punjab’s move as an “unconstitutional and mischievous act of hindering the process of the Supreme Court’’ which was hearing the case.

The Congress boycotted the meeting chaired by Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Parliamentary affairs minister Ram Bilas Sharma, agriculture minister OP Dhankar, leader of Opposition Abhay Chautala, BJP state president Ashok Barala, INLD president Ashok Arora, Haryana Janhit Congress president Kuldeep Bishnoi and others attended the meeting.

“Haryana is neither asking for charity nor demanding Punjab’s share of water. Haryana only wants a passage to get its allocated share of the Ravi-Beas waters, and this passage is the SYL canal,” read the resolution passed by parties. Though the Supreme Court had given its verdict in Haryana’s favour on January 15, 2002, Punjab filed a review petition, which was dismissed by the apex court on March 5, 2002, it further said.

However, the-then Punjab government got the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act2004 passed in the Vidhan Sabha annulling all inter-state agreements pertaining to Ravi-Beas.

A presidential reference in this regard was pending in the Supreme Court, said the resolution, adding that on Haryana’s request, the SC had started hearing on February 29, 2016. “While the hearing was also held on March 8, 2016, the Punjab government announced that it would bring a bill in the Vidhan Sabha to de-notify the land acquired for the SYL canal and return it to the farmers,” it said.

“As the hearing is being held in the SC on the presidential reference after 11 years, the introduction of such a bill by the Punjab government amounts to gross violation of the dignity of the Constitution and stares federal structure in the eye,” said the resolution.

After the meeting, when INLD leader Abhay Chautala was asked about his family’s personal relations with Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, the former said these two were separate issues and to him interests of Haryana were above all.

Later, Khattar presented a memorandum on the SYL canal issue to the governor. “The governor has told the delegation that the issue (SYL) concerns both Punjab and Haryana and the matter would be discussed.

On boycott of the all-party meeting by the Congress, Khattar said it might be due to the internal politics of the party, but it was not in favour of the state. “The Congress should have also extended its support to the cause,” he added.

Cong to submit memo to governor today

Earlier, state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar and Congress Legislature Party leader Kiran Choudhry said the party had decided not to participate in the meeting as it had already clarified its stand on the issue that the BJP was only fooling people on SYL as it had alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government in Punjab and had its government in the Centre. They said all Congress leaders would submit a memorandum to the Haryana governor on Sunday requesting him to ask the Khattar government to rectify its functioning. “The BJP, if it wants, can find a solution to the SYL tussle. But it is only fooling the people of Haryana by making it a political issue’’, Choudhry said.

On a specific query that even Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh supported the Punjab government’s stand on SYL issue, Tanwar said he doesn’t support his Punjab counterpart’s decision and will take up the issue with the high command.

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