SAD, BJP ready ammo to counter Congress fire

  • Chitleen K Sethi, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 08, 2016 11:29 IST

The Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance is ready with ammunition to counter Congress’ offensive over sharing of river waters with Haryana in the budget session.

The SAD is all set to project itself as the “real saviour” of Punjab’s waters while painting the Congress as the party that not just created the problem but also complicated it.

The Akalis will focus be on the role played by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in launching the protest against the construction of the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal in 1982 after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi forced Punjab to withdraw its suit from the Supreme court against the Centre’s move to divide Punjab river waters and share it with Haryana and Rajasthan.

“It was the Congress government led by Darbara Singh which withdrew the suit against the division of waters from the Supreme Court in 1981. Then in 1982, it was Indira Gandhi who broke ground near Kapuri village in Patiala district for the construction of the SYL canal. The same day the SAD launched a morcha against the canal. So who is responsible for the whole problem? The Akalis or the Congress? The Congress should in fact carry out a pashchataap (regret) march and beg forgiveness for their party’s wrongdoings,” said Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, general secretary SAD and cabinet minister after the SAD core committee meeting here.

“Haryana ex-chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda (Congress) continued to push the Presidential reference in the SC made against the abrogation of water treaties passed by the Punjab government in 2004. This Presidential reference is now under active consideration and threatens to rob Punjab of its waters,” added Cheema.

During the last hearing of the case on February 29, the NDA government had told the court that it was in favour of construction of the SYL canal.

The state BJP, however, is ready with its defence. “We have talked to our top leaders in Delhi and our delegation has also met them. The sensitivity of the issue has been explained to them. The BJP completely stands with the SAD on this. We have no water to share with Haryana,” said state BJP chief Kamal Sharma.

Earlier, during the core panel meeting, SAD leaders authorised Badal to choose party’s nominees for the Rajya Sabha.

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