Making it clear that the SAD-BJP government will not resign if Supreme Court verdict on the Satluj-YamunaLink (SYL) canal issue comes against Punjab, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday said waters of the state can only be protected while remaining in power.
“We as a government can only stop anybody from entering into our territory. We don’t want to finish the government and lose our control over the state. By resigning, we don’t want to finish our authority at this crucial juncture,” said Sukhbir, when asked over the alliance’s strategy over the SYL canal issue on the sidelines of a sangat darshan programme in this village of Balachaur constituency.
Taking a dig at state Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh for his statement that all Congress MLAs and MPs will resign if the SYL verdict comes against Punjab, Sukhbir said Congress would lose nothing if the party’s three MPs out of the total 40 resigned. “As far as we are concerned, we will fight hard and will not allow any drop of water to other states,” he said. On the allegations made by suspended SAD MLA from Jalandhar Cantonment Pargat Singh against him, Sukhbir said replying to Pargat’s “baseless” charges doesn’t suit his stature. “I don’t want to give him importance. Main te bade bade bundeyan te ghat comment kardan, Pargat te kyun bolan? (I hardly comment even on big personalities, so why should I speak on Pargat?),” he quipped. On the media’s repeated queries on Pargat’s charges, he said, “Only I made him what he is in politics at present”. He added, “Pargat is a nice man and I have always been fond of him. I gave him everything. I made him director, sports, in the last tenure of our government. I made him MLA. I offered him the post of chief parliamentary secretary and he even agreed to it in a closed-door meeting. But later he refused. Why should I comment on a man nurtured by me only?” About the MLA’s charge that he was not even issued a suspension letter, the deputy CM said, “Pargat can get it from the party headquarters.” He claimed that Pargat is targeting him only to get into the limelight.