In what could be seen as the compulsion of coalition politics, Union food processing minister and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who was here on Monday, defended alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government for staying away from the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal issue.
On being asked as to why her party has not received much support on the issue from alliance partner BJP, which also heads the central government, Harsimrat said, “It is better that the central government has decided to stay away from the issue as it concerns BJP-ruled states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Being an inter-state issue, the Union government has decided that the concerned state governments should resolve the issue.”
During her ongoing visit in Mansa, the minister has repeatedly criticised Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for his doublespeak on the SYL issue.
“His hypocrisy has been exposed after they (Delhi government) filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, supporting the state of Haryana. A Haryana-born leader, now ruling Delhi, can never be loyal to Punjab,” Harsimrat said.
Meanwhile, she heaped praises on Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal for taking a bold decision regarding de-notification of SYL Canal land.
Speaking on the expulsion of leaders in AAP and Congress, Harsimrat said the opposition will decimate itself before the upcoming elections and the SAD-BJP alliance will easily regain power. “Voices of dissent are being stifled, which is evident after the expulsion of Jassi Jasraj from AAP and Jagmeet Brar from Congress. It only shows that the opposition will be decimated before the assembly elections,” she said.
While wooing the farming class, the minister defended the state government over the pesticide scam, leading to severe damages to cotton crop.
“A misleading campaign was launched by the opposition to target the state government over the loss of cotton crop. Had it been the supply of adulterated pesticide which led to the damage to cotton crop, how come farmers in states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan also faced the same issue? Was it the SAD-BJP government which supplied the pesticide in all these states?” she said.
The Bathinda MP visited around five villages, viz. Dhapi, Hodla Kalan, Dalewan, Kishangarh Pharwahi and Phaphre Bhaike and distributed grants worth crores for development works.