Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief whip and Bholath legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira has demanded a special Vidhan Sabha session on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue. Since the next hearing of Supreme Court on the issue is listed for March 28, the AAP leader said, the state government should be prepared to deal with any situation arising out of the apex court’s verdict.
Briefing the media on Saturday , Khaira said all the legislators from across party lines should come together and pass a resolution ‘denouncing’ any unfavourable verdict’.
On November 10 last year, the Supreme Court had declared as unconstitutional the Punjab’s 2004 law to terminate the agreement for sharing SYL canal water with its neighbouring state .
He cited how Karnataka House had passed a resolution in defiance of the Supreme Court order to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu with regard to Cauvery water. “Without waiting any further, the state government should make the legislators take a stand against an unfavourable SC verdict,” he said.
Khaira said Article 162 and 246 (3) of the Constitution gives the state the right to take an independent decision on the matters related to hydel power and water. When asked to clarify stand of AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal on the SYL issue, he said it was a matter of the state and AAP in Punjab was against water-sharing. “He (Kejriwal) is a national leader, it’s his duty to look after the interests of various states. But AAP MLAs in Punjab are against SYL,” said Khaira.
“We have full respect for the judiciary, but one must understand that legislative assemblies are sovereign independent bodies,” he said. The AAP leader also criticised the Centre’s plan of setting up a water-sharing tribunal that will supersede all the existing inter-state tribunals. “It is the ploy of BJP government to take away Punjab’s water,” he said.
On the decision of AAP legislators’ accepting officials cars and security, he said it was an MLA’s personal choice to accept or reject the facilities he or she is entitled to.