Haryana unanimously passes resolution against Punjab’s move on Chandigarh

Apr 05, 2022 04:37 PM IST

Khattar urges Centre to take steps to construct Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal, says the transfer of Hindi-speaking villages from Punjab to Haryana is still pending

The Haryana assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution, urging the Centre not to take any step that would disturb the existing balance till all issues emanating from the reorganisation of Punjab are settled besides reiterating its claim over state capital Chandigarh.

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar moved a resolution in the state assembly on Tuesday, noting with concern the Punjab assembly’s recent move on the transfer of the joint capital of Chandigarh. (HT file photo)
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar moved a resolution in the state assembly on Tuesday, noting with concern the Punjab assembly’s recent move on the transfer of the joint capital of Chandigarh. (HT file photo)

The House also urged the central government to take measures for the construction of the Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal in compliance with the Supreme Court’s directions and prevail upon Punjab to withdraw its case and permit the Hansi Butana Canal to be able to carry waters to deficient areas of Haryana.

Also read: Haryana Class 10 board exam: 457 cases of cheating, 11 sacked, a dummy gun found

After a three-hour discussion, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar thanked the members of rival political parties for unanimously supporting the resolution brought by his government in the House.

Reading out the official resolution in the specially convened assembly session in Chandigarh, Khattar accused Punjab of enacting legislations to deny against Haryana’s rightful claims. “The Haryana assembly has on at least seven occasions passed resolutions, urging the early completion of the SYL Canal. Several agreements, accords, tribunal’s findings and judgments of courts have all singularly upheld the claims of Haryana to the water and directed the completion of the SYL,” the Haryana chief minister said.

‘Haryana’s right on SYL Canal constitutionally established’

He said the Haryana assembly notes with concern the resolution passed by the Punjab assembly on April 1, recommending that the matter of transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab be taken up with the Centre. “The Indira Gandhi agreement, Rajiv Longowal accord and the Venkataramaiah Commission have accepted the claim of Haryana to Hindi-speaking areas that fall within Punjab’s territory. The transfer of Hindi-speaking villages from Punjab to Haryana has also not been completed,” Khattar said.

He argued that the right of Haryana to have a share in the waters of the Ravi and the Beas rivers by constructing the SYL Canal is historically, legally, judicially and constitutionally established over time.

The recent amendment in the rules of the Bhakra Beas Management Board by the central government for appointment of whole-time members goes against the spirit of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, which treats the river projects as common assets of the successor states of Punjab.

“The House notes with concern that the share of Haryana officers on deputation to the Chandigarh administration has been reducing over the years,” the official resolution said.

Punjab elder brother, not big brother: Hooda

Leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda said Haryana can accept Punjab as elder brother but not as a big brother. Punjab’s action seeking the transfer of Chandigarh will only spoil relations between the two states, Hooda said.

”Why should the administrator of Chandigarh be from Punjab only? When I was chief minister, I wrote to the central government that administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh should either be appointed on rotation basis from Punjab and Haryana or there should be an independent administrator,” Hooda said.

Still in infancy and wants to take over Chandigarh: Vij on AAP

Referring to Aam Aadmi Party ( AAP) government in Punjab, Haryana health minister Anil Vij said, “Punjab’s resolution is politically motivated and mischievous. It’s an attempt of the Punjab government to divert people’s attention from the pre-election promises made to grab power. We need to understand the designs of the Punjab government. Char din ki party hai. Still in infancy and they are talking of taking over Chandigarh.”

Need to be more aggressive: Kiran Choudhary

Indian National Lok Dal MLA Abhay Chautala blamed Khattar and Hooda for not making efforts to get the SYL Canal constructed.

Congress leader Kiran Choudhary said that merely passing a resolution won’t help. “We also have to be aggressive. We need to assert on securing our rights pertaining to our share in the civil secretariat, Vidhan Sabha and the Punjab and Haryana high court,” she said, adding “Punjab ko munh tod jawab dena padega (We need to give Punjab a befitting reply).

First time Independent MLA, Balraj Kundu termed Punjab’s resolution as “ a mere political agenda” and accused the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party government of playing with the sentiments of people. “I want to ask why political parties forget these issues when in power and remember them only when in the opposition,” Kundu said.

Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi went a step further and remarked that Punjab has a comedian for a chief minister.

Punjab has no special claim over Chandigarh: Batra

Congress leader BB Batra said: “As per the Punjab Reorganisation Act’s section 2 (m), the term successor state, in relation to the existing state of Punjab, means the state of Punjab or Haryana, and also includes the Union in relation to the UT of Chandigarh. So, Punjab is also a successor state and has not special claim over Chandigarh.”

Congress legislator and former minister Geeta Bhukkal also termed the Punjab resolution on Chandigarh unconstitutional, illegal and misleading.

State parliamentary affairs minister Kanwar Pal said: “The Punjab resolution is a political conspiracy. I would like to ask chief minister Bhagwant Mann whether there was any demand from the people of Punjab to get Chandigarh transferred. This is ploy to divert attention from big pre-poll promises like 300 units of free power made by AAP.”

SYL Canal issue: JP Dalal calls for contempt of court case

JP Dalal, the state agriculture minister, said: “Contempt of court proceedings should be initiated against all those people concerned of Punjab who have violated court orders regarding the SYL Canal with impunity.”

BJP’s Abhay Singh Yadav said the Centre should settle the long-standing SYL Canal issue the way it tackled contentious issues of national importance such as the abrogation of special status to J&K through Article 370 .


    Pawan Sharma, based in Chandigarh, is Punjab’s Chief-of-Bureau, Hindustan Times. In the past 16 years, stints in Delhi and Himachal Pradesh including, he has done high-impact stories on Tibetan affairs, judiciary, politics and corruption in governments.

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