Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday said he is ready to go to jail but would not allow a single drop of water to flow into Haryana through the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal.
He told Punjabis to be prepared for the struggle to save Punjab’s waters being snatched away following the “connivance by Akalis with the BJP”. He said the party would raise the issue and expose the double face of the Akali Dal in the Vidhan Sabha session.
“I will soon announce the date for taking out a march to save the waters and need your support,” Amarinder said while addressing a rally at Ghanaur organised by former MLA Madan Lal Jalalpur.
Amarinder said since the division of Punjab, the state had got a raw deal on waters; thus, he passed the termination of agreements Act, 2004, to annul all water agreements.
“Now, this Act has been challenged by the SAD’s coalition partner, the BJP government at the Centre, to support Haryana. Let me tell you, I won’t hesitate from taking any step to stop the SYL link canal. I am ready to even go to jail, but won’t allow any flow of water through the SYL,” Amarinder said, adding that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had failed to protect the interests of the state.
Amarinder wondered why Badal had not protested against the Centre’s stand against Punjab in the Supreme Court. “Any sincere and well-meaning leader who has any love for Punjab would have strongly protested against it and withdrawn from the government,” he said, adding, “What to speak of withdrawing from the NDA government, they have not uttered even a single word of protest.” This, he said, amounted to an abject and meek surrender for personal interests and for the ministerial berth for Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Taking Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal head on over his claims of knowing Punjab and serving its interests better than others, Amarinder asked him to choose any of the 117 constituencies in the state and he (Amarinder) would contest against him from that constituency only.
Amarinder said Kejriwal is yet to make his stand clear on the SYL issue despite the former having asked him to do so a week ago. “Kejriwal’s silence says he is still in a dilemma as he belongs to Haryana,” he said.