Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had made Punjab’s legal position on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue “weaker”.
“Thanks to his (Badal’s) playing a double game on the SYL issue, we lost in the Supreme Court what we had gained in the Vidhan Sabha,” Captain, who had enacted the Termination of Agreements Act in 2004 as then CM, said in a statement issued here.
“Badal, like an old fox, got the bill passed in the assembly but didn’t send it to the governor for assent, apparently to provide Haryana with crucial time to move the Supreme Court, which ordered a status quo, nullifying everything done in the Vidhan Sabha with the Congress support,” he added, asking the Badals: “So what is there to celebrate about?”
He recalled how the 2004 bill had become a law in less than six hours. “We passed the bill at noon, got the governor’s assent in the afternoon, and notified it before the evening the same day,” he pointed out, adding that he suspected Badal’s intentions. The former CM said: “No matter how much credit Badal claims on the SYL, he has always betrayed Punjab’s interest. It was he who accepted `2 crore in 1977 from the-then Haryana chief minister, Devi Lal, for constructing the canal.”
Amarinder also took a dig at Badal and his deputy CM son, Sukhbir Singh Badal, for their declaring self “messiah of farmers” and “saviour of waters”, respectively, “when actually they had betrayed the people on both counts”. “It is amusing that they are trying to celebrate a defeat, when actually they should feel sorry and be ashamed,” he remarked, pointing out how farmers were committing suicide under Badal’s rule.