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Refrain from politicking on SYL issue: Sunil Jakhar cautions o Sukhbir Badal

 Sukhbir Badal had said, “Amarinder should learn from past mistakes when he accompanied the then PM Indira Gandhi to inaugurate digging of the SYL canal.”

punjab Updated: Sep 09, 2017 11:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
SYL issue,sutlej-Yamuna link canal,Sunil Jakhar
Jakhar said Sukhbir's statement asking Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh not to go for talks on the issue is akin to bringing a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, of which his party is an ally.(HT File )

Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar on Friday accused Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal of trying to stall talks on the contentious Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue and said he should refrain from politicking on the sensitive issue.

Addressing mediapersons at Congress Bhawan here, Jakhar said Sukhbir's statement asking Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh not to go for talks on the issue is akin to bringing a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, of which his party is an ally. The Centre had on Thursday sought six weeks from the Supreme Court to resolve the issue by holding talks between Punjab and Haryana.

Sukhbir had said, “Amarinder should learn from past mistakes when he accompanied the then PM Indira Gandhi to inaugurate digging of the SYL canal.The Punjab government needs to send out a clear message to Punjabi farmers that no negotiations could be held to barter away their river water.”

Jakhar said the SAD should first part ways with the National Democratic alliance (NDA) before taking a stand against its ally BJP. “It goes to the CM’s credit that hehas tried to open a dialogue with the Centre cutting across party lines. Sukhbir is worried that if the Congress government is able to resolve the issue, his party will lose face," Jakhar said.

‘No dearth of winning candidates for Gurdaspur bypoll'

With the Lok Sabha elections less than two years away, the Congress seems to be in a bind on choosing its candidate for the Gurdaspur bypoll. The seat fell vacant following the death of actor-politician Vinod Khanna. The seat, held by the BJP as part of its alliance with the SAD, will be a prestige battle for the Congress after winning the assembly elections six months ago with a thumping majority.

On whether he could be the party nominee for the Gurdaspur bypoll, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said there is no death of candidates in the party. “A decision will be taken in this regard by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and the CM," he said. Seven of the nine MLAs in the parliamentary segment are rooting for Jakhar.

Other options before the party are Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Randhawa, Rajya Sabha MP Partap Bajwa's wife Charanjit and former Batala MLA Ashwani Sekhri. One of Amarinder's three political secretaries, Major Amardeep, too is keen to contest from the segment.

First Published: Sep 09, 2017 11:16 IST