Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said the state government would “legally examine” amending of clause 5 — that protects the quantum of water flowing into Rajasthan and Haryana — of the Punjab Termination of Agreements (PTA) Act, 2004.
Sukhbir was in the district to pay homage to Shaheed Bhagat Singh on his martyrdom day at Khatkar Kalan, the martyr’s native village.
He also demanded Bharat Ratna for Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, saying that the Punjab government would raise the demand before the Centre shortly.
When asked if his government would scrap the clause, a promise that SAD had made before the 2007 assembly polls, Sukhbir said all those clauses that ensure protection of Punjab’s water would be amended.
“We will legally examine it first. We are ready to make all such amendments,” said the SAD chief.
Since the passing of the Act during the tenure of Captain Amarinder Singh as Punjab chief minister, his successor Parkash Singh Badal has been demanding scrapping of the clause.
“Surjit Singh Barnala as CM allowed construction of the SYL Canal at fast pace. But Badal saab (CM) opposed this strongly,” he said.
Making a special announcement, Sukhbir said 2,000 medical shops would be opened in Punjab wherein 206 life-saving medicines would be provided free of cost. Besides, tests will also be conducted free of cost, he added.
Interestingly, while Sukhbir demanded the highest civilian honour for Bhagat Singh only during his public speech, he added the names of Rajguru and Sukhdev during his interaction with the media.
He honoured Bhagat Singh’s niece Paramjit Kaur, Bharat Bhushan Thapar, a kin of Sukhdev and Bubbly Nayyar.