Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh has questioned the moral authority of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in accusing the Union government of undermining the Constitution’s federal structure when his Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was part of the ruling combine.
At an inter-state council meeting in Delhi on Saturday, Sukhbir had demanded “a genuine federal structure” and reportedly said the Centre had reduced the states to “beggars”. Amarinder issued a statement here on Sunday that Sukhbir was “trying to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds”, while his father, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, had “double standards”.
“If they (the Badals) are aggrieved seriously, why don’t they ask Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Sukhbir’s wife) to withdraw from the Union cabinet?” Captain said. “Fearing a Supreme Court ruling against Punjab on the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal issue after the Centre favours Haryana in the river-water-sharing dispute, the Badals are trying to prepare the ground for exit.”
He asked the Badals if they had done anything to get their ruling partner at the Centre, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to support Punjab’s case or at least be neutral.
“Show me a single word you wrote to the Prime Minister on the (SYL) issue,” Amarinder said. “While we will support you along the legal and constitutional parameters on the SYL, we will in no way be part of your dangerous game plan of pushing Punjab into anarchy for your vested interests,” he told the Badals.