Touching the river-water issue which at the heart of Punjab politics, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann on Friday said the state does not have enough water to meet its own needs and he will raise the issue in the upcoming session of Parliament.
Mann said this while talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a rally at Rampura Phul in the district.
The AAP has avoided taking a stand on the issue in the past and but the recent war of words between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress over the rights of the state over river water has forced the party to jump into the fray, it appears.
Both the Congress and Akalis will be uncomfortable if AAP raises the issue in Parliament as both parties have reservations discussing the matter at the national platform, especially in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans of interlinking river water against SAD wishes.
“Punjab was named after rivers. We do not have enough water to drink or for irrigation. We have no water for others. Our party will raise the issue in the upcoming session of Parliament,” said Bhagwant Mann when asked about the party’s position on the issue amid ongoing tussle between the SAD and the Congress.
“Both the SAD and the Congress have been playing noora kushti (friendly match) over the water issue. Our party will come up with data and details to make aware the masses over river water,” said Mann, who otherwise did not touch the issue in his one-hour long speech at the rally.
Mann further said the party cannot run away from the 2017 general elections in Punjab. “People have showed faith in us during the 2014 parliamentary elections and we will contest the 2017 assembly elections. We are accountable to people. We were not ready to contest the Dhuri election as party has yet to develop organisational structure in the state,” said the AAP MP.
Interestingly, the central leadership of the party has not made any commitment on contesting any elections outside Delhi and has also formed a committee to explore its chances of victory in other states.
Akalis use schoolchildren to sell drugs: Sadhu Singh
Making serious allegations against the Shiromani Akali Dal and cabinet minister Sikander Singh Maluka, AAP’s Faridkot MP Sadhu Singh claimed that Akalis used schoolchildren for supplying drugs. Maluka is MLA from Rampuraphul and his assembly constituency falls in the Faridkot Lok Sabha constituency which Sadhu Singh represents.
He was referring to the attack on government school principal Daljit Singh of Bhagta Bhai Ka last week.
“The principal was attacked because he tried to stop Akalis from using schoolchildren for supplying drugs. Maluka promotes goons who are out of control. You (Akalis) sell drugs through children,” claimed Sadhu Singh.
Asked about Sadhu Singh’s allegations, school principal Daljit Singh said, “The reason behind the attack on me has not been established yet.”
Sadhu Singh and Daljit Singh are long-time friends, it has been learnt.