Parkash Singh Badal, chief minister of Punjab, has ruled out any possibility of resolving the river water issue with Haryana amicably through dialogue.
On Thursday, the Haryana chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had said he was ready to talk with Punjab to settle the dispute between both states. On Friday, asked about it during a sangat darshan programme at this village of the home constituency, Lambi, chief minister Badal said he was unaware of Hooda’s making any offer in the Haryana assembly.
“The resolution of the river water dispute is not in the ambit of Hooda alone,” said the CM. “Hooda is mistaken to say that the key to the solution is in the hands of the states, as neither he nor I have any mandate or right to solve this issue. It is in the hands of the Centre, which has betrayed Punjab always.”
Punjab always had played big brother to the neighbouring state but Haryana had never repaid in the same coin, said Badal. “The Centre has betrayed Punjab by denying it legitimate share of river water under riparian principles and not transferring to us capital Chandigarh and the Punjabi speaking areas of Haryana. Unless the Centre was sincere, the territorial issues could not be solved, as that would require a strong political will.”
Earlier, during the sangat darshan programmes at Kakhanwali, Bhullarwala and Haakuwala, many members of the Congress and People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) joined the SAD in the presence of Badal.
‘PPP has no future in state’
Reacting to the Moga assembly byelection result, the Punjab chief minister said the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) had no future in the state and its president, Manpreet Singh Badal, had committed political suicide by quitting the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) at the behest of the Congress.
“The Congress always has adopted the policy of divide and rule to weaken the SAD, and the making of the PPP was part of one such conspiracy,” said Badal. “In spite of that, the SAD has emerged stronger, just as it hardly makes any difference to the ocean if a drop leaves.”
The history of the state polity was a evidence that people never had forgiven the Congress for treachery, said Badal. “Manpreet has fallen prey to the cheap tactics of the Congress but the wise voters have shown him the door,” he added.
The CM mocked at the fact that in the Moga contest, the PPP candidate had lost even his security deposit.