Senior Congress leader and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said on Monday that he will campaign for the party in the Punjab election “only if (Punjab Congress chief) Capt Amarinder Singh assures Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal waters for Haryana publicly”.
Hooda was speaking on the sidelines of a protest over demonetisation by the Himachal Congress unit outside the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) regional office in Shimla. He said Amarinder had abrogated the SYL treaty. “If he assures publicly that he will give waters from SYL to Haryana I will campaign there,” Hooda said adding, “Otherwise I will not go to campaign as interests of the people of Haryana are more important than elections for me.”
However, he claimed the Congress will win Punjab. “In five states that are going to polls, Congress will form the government. I was on way to Shimla via Punjab and have spoken with people. People are for the Congress,” he said.
On demonetisation, he said, “It is a big poll issue. The decision is anti-people. It will not only affect the poor people but also hit the country’s economy adversely,” he said. Quoting former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Hooda said the country’s growth is likely to come down by 2-3% due to the move.