Mincing no words to attack former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said the Congress was the perpetrator of this sin against the state and its people.
Speaking on the sidelines of a function to mark 20th death anniversary of Subedar Bapu Kartar Singh, father of minister for water supply and sanitation, higher education and languages Surjit Singh Rakhra here on Sunday, Badal said neither the Union government nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi had any role in the SYL issue as the ball is now in the President’s court following the Supreme Court verdict.
“We can’t force the NDA government to act as per our desires,” he said, reiterating his commitment that he won’t allow a single drop of water to flow in Haryana. “Whosoever comes to dig the canal will be dealt with iron hand,” said Badal.
The CM said he would soon meet the President and apprise him about the depleting water level in the state.
He also urged the Congress MLAs, who resigned from the assembly post SC’s SYL verdict, to attend the emergency session of the assembly on November 16 to chalk out a strategy to protect Punjab water. “It’s not a political issue but a matter involving the lifeline of Punjab. It is need of the hour so that the message is conveyed that Punjab is united on this emotive issue,” said Badal.
Asked if Punjab can urge the PM to set up a tribunal on water-sharing disputes with neighbouring states, Badal said the government’s plea to constitute a tribunal to re-access water availability in Punjab was turned down by the apex court. “We will again raise this demand before the Union government,” he said.
Earlier, he held Congress leaders— former PM Indira Gandhi, state Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh — responsible for the construction of the SYL canal.
Not against people of Haryana: CM
Urging the people of Punjab and Haryana to exercise restraint, Badal said there was no animosity between the people of two neighbouring states. “The people of Punjab and Haryana have been living and will continue to live like brothers in atmosphere of love, respect and mutual faith,” he said.