The treasury benches are all set to bring a resolution opposing any move to share Punjab river waters with Haryana. The SAD -BJP move is expected to take the wind out of the Congress sails opposing the alliance over the issue.
The Congress, according to the SAD-BJP game plan, will have no option and will agree to pass the resolution unanimously.
The resolution is expected to be moved on the third day of the session (on Thursday) by more than one SAD member and is expected to be allowed to be taken up by the speaker.
“The entire problem of the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal was created by the Congress. We will take it up strongly during the session. Let the appropriate time come,” said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal after the joint meeting of SAD and BJP members.
“The Congress will be left red faced when they will be questioned about who played what role in allowing the construction of the canal, said deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
“Punjab is facing an acute water crisis. Our ground water-table is down to 600 feet at some places. We have red zones (desertification) emerging in the state. We cannot spare even a single drop of water. The Congress has always tried to divide Punjab’s water and Akalis have always been saving it. It’s shocking they are trying to project themselves as savioor of our waters,” said Sukhbir.
SAD MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha said the Congress had chosen to rake up a wrong issue. “Their entire strategy will go against them. It was Indira Gandhi who broke the ground for the construction of the canal. Before that she forced her chief minister Darbara Singh to withdraw a suit challenging the division of Punjab river waters. Then she set up the Eradi Tribunal which gave an interim report against Punjab and it led to worsening of the law and order situation in Punjab. The state paid a heavy price as one of the main issues during the days of militancy was the sharing of river waters,” said Valtoha
Sources add that the chief minister will also be speaking on the issue in the House and his aides have been asked to gather all possible facts of the case with special focus on the Kapuri morcha of 1982 led by Badal (then in the opposition) against the ground breaking of the SYL canal.
Will fully back SAD: BJP
The state BJP is backing the SAD completely on river water rights. Cabinet minister Madan Mohan Mittal, who recently met Union home minister Rajnath Singh over the issue, said, “We pointed out that the matter was very sensitive. We have suggested that a joint meeting of the three states—Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan — should be held to get the matter sorted out. We are totally backing the SAD stand. In the assembly, we will fight tooth and nail against any move to divide Punjab waters.”