Uma’s assurance to Haryana: Capt Amarinder vows to save Punjab waters
Questioning the authority of Union water resources minister Uma Bharti to give Haryana reported assurance that a roadmap for resolving its water issues with Punjab was ready, former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday threatened to launch an agitation over it.chandigarh Updated: Apr 02, 2015 21:16 IST
Questioning the authority of Union water resources minister Uma Bharti to give Haryana reported assurance that a roadmap for resolving its water issues with Punjab was ready, former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday threatened to launch an agitation over it.
Flanked by Punjab Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar and more than a dozen legislators at a press conference on Thursday here, the Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha asked Bharti what right she had to speak on an issue pending before the Supreme Court. “Is she above the Supreme Court, or has she some understanding with Akalis?” he said.
He added that his erstwhile government had enacted the Punjab Termination of Water Agreement Act, 2004, to save the state’s waters. “I did so risking my government, and without caring about the political consequences. But the present chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal, wants to compromise the interests of the state for his family,” Amarinder said.
Accusing Badal of striking a deal with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to save his relatives who were accused in the multi-crore-rupee drug scandal, Amarinder said Enforcement Directorate, nevertheless, had clinching evidence. “The BJP is trying to exploit the weaknesses of the Akalis. In order to save his family, Badal is willing to compromise Punjab’s interests. But if the state is robbed of its waters, it may turn into a tinderbox and even reignite terrorism. I hope the BJP understands how Punjab pulled itself out of the dark days of militancy,” said the former CM.
“The surrender by Badal on the river-water issue is another in a series of betrayals with farmers,” said Amarinder, adding that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had supported the BJP’s anti-farmer amendments to the land acquisition bill in the Lok Sabha, though in public, Badal had a contrary stand. Punjab had also failed to get any compensation for its rain-hit wheat farmers, he further said.
“Badal is only for Badal and nobody else. The water level in Punjab is falling at an alarming rate. Irrigation is surviving on submersible pumps. The state has not a drop of water to spare. Every child of Punjab will join our agitation if the state’s interests are traded off. Badal, Bharti, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not play with fire,” the Congress leader said. Neither Jakhar nor any other legislator spoke during the conference.