SYL row: Punjab CM exhorts people to fight for saving state waters

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Apr 01, 2016 14:07 IST
Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Lok Sabha MP Prem Singh Chandumajra (left) at Kauli village in Patiala on Thursday. (Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo)

Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal again vowed to make every sacrifice to protect the river waters of the state and asked the people of the state to be ready to fight for their right.

“Come what may, the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal will never become a reality. Not only me, but every Punjabi was duty-bound to oppose this move and all of us should pledge to protect the waters of the state at any cost,” added Badal.

He was addressing a gathering to mark the death anniversary of veteran Akali leader Jathedar Jasdev Singh Sandhu, who was one of main leaders to launch a protest against the SYL canal. Sandhu was an MLA from Ghanaur, where the foundation of SYL canal was laid in Kapoori and he had led the masses to oppose it.

Badal categorically stated that Punjab doesn’t have a single drop of spare water for anybody adding that SYL agreement was a grave injustice done by the Congress, in which state Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh was the party. Amarinder welcomed Indira Gandhi, who came to Kapoori to start digging of the SYL canal. He said the Congress was now resorting to tactics of filling the land at same site in Kapoori to just to mislead the people.

“Akali Dal was opposed to this agreement, from day and now also they were firm to their stand to not allow the construction of this canal at any cost,” he said.

Terming water was basic ingredient of life and any such move to share the river waters of the state would be disastrous as it would ruin Punjab, he said: “We want only one thing that everyone should follow riparian principle of River water sharing. When Ravi and Sutlej has no link with Haryana, how Punjab can share water of these rivers with the neighbouring state?”

Badal also lauded the contribution of Sandhu family, especially his son senior Akali leader Tejinder Pal Singh and daughter-in-law Anoopinder Kaur, in serving the people of the state with dedication and commitment.

Prominent amongst those present on the occasion were cabinet minister Surjit Singh Rakhra and Lok Sabha MP Prem Singh Chandumajra.

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