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2017 Punjab polls: Chhapar Mela turns into political battleground

punjab Updated: Sep 17, 2016 12:26 IST
Arjun Sharma
2017 Punjab polls

Capt Amarinder and Parkash Singh Badal(HT Photo)

The historic mela at Chhapar village in Mandi Ahmadgarh turned into a political battleground with the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders trading charges against each other on Friday.

Addressing a gathering, Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh cautioned the people on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue in the backdrop of riots in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over Cauvery water dispute.

He said the Supreme Court should take into consideration the existing ground realities before pronouncing the judgment. The former chief minister said he would not allow a drop of water to flow out of Punjab as it could render at least 10 lakh acres in the Malwa region barren.

Amarinder blamed chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for the SYL mess, saying he wanted to please his friend and then Haryana chief minister in 1978.

Lashing out at the Badal and revenue minister Bikramjit Majithia, Amarinder said: “The moment elections are announced and the code of conduct comes into force, the Badals will need to run for cover. People will not let them enter their villages,” he said, adding that this was the reason Badal was seeking extra security from the centre.

Meanwhile, addressing the Akali rally, Badal praised the Narendra Modi-led Union government for supporting the state in releasing funds for development schemes. “Be it road projects or funds for infrastructure development, the Union government has always helped Punjab,” said Badal.

Attacking the Congress, Badal said it was the party that has always hurt the sentiments of the Sikh. “Akali leader were put behind bars during Emergency imposed by then PM Indira Gandhi. Again, Congress leaders took charge to kill Sikhs during the 1984 riots.” Addressing a rally, AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Jarnail Singh said the Akalis anti-Punjab.