SYL Canal row
Patiala: After hitting Punjab well before the state assembly elections, now again the Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal’s ghost has come out to create fear among the poor Punjabis and this time it is the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) led by Chautalas as it has announce to organise a massive march towards Punjab from Ambala in Haryana on February 23 to start digging of the said canal even as the matter is sub-judice and is still hanging between Punjab and Haryana.
SAD to take up matter with PM; Cong determined not to allow any such move; AAP claims its rule of law
Interestingly, well before the state assembly elections it was Punjab government who came out and tried to present itself as the saviour of Punjab river waters and passed an act in the state assembly saying a final no to Haryana on river waters. Whereas before this during 2002 Captain Amarinder Singh-led Cogress government also did the same. Before the elections, every political party in Punjab tried to take full political mileage out of this issue to exploit the sentiments of the people to get the votes.
But as the phase of polling for the state assembly elections here got over, in the neighbouring state of Haryana, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has once again taken up the issue with an intention to get a political fillip and trying to cash in.
INLD has announced its programme regarding this issue under which it has planned to come out with a massive march from Ambala towards Punjab to start digging of the canal and the duties of party workers and leaders have been assigned in this connection.
The importance of Patiala district increases as its a bordering district with Haryana and the village of Kapoori also falls in it from where in actual the digging of SYL Canal had started way back in 1984 with then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi laying the foundation stone of it. The area later saw dark days after Akali Dal’s Dharam Yudh Morcha emergence of the militancy in the state, which took thousands of lives of innocent people.
Now when the state is going to face another danger in shape of highlighting of SYL canal issue for political mileage by none other than the old trusted friend of Badals, the Chautalas and at this crucial time Punjab Chief Minister and Patron of SAD Parkash Singh Badal has gone to USA followed by his son and state’s Deputy Chief Minister and SAD Supremo Sukhbir Singh Badal as well as its learnt that Badal senior has gone to USA to seek some medical treatment so he and Sukhbir are not available presently.
On the other hand, to get first-hand reaction over this move when Daily Post tried to contact Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh and AAP’s state president Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi. Both of them could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. Besides SAD’s senior leaders including Dr Daljit Singh Cheema and Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra also could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
However, SAD’s senior leader and party’s Secretary General Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa when contacted and ask to comment over it, termed it a politically motivated move from INLD’s side. He said that the act of INLD is totally illegal one and nobody is going to allow such a move. Dhindsa added that INLD too know this fact that it’s not going to get anything out of it and it’s just a political stunt.
Dhindsa further said that but the party is taking it a challenge and so it’s going to summon an emergent meeting of its Political Affairs Committee (PAC) to take stock of the situation and its decision as well. He said that one thing is very clear that SAD is fully committed not to allow any river water out of Punjab and it’s also ready to make any sacrifice for it.
He said that keeping in view the complicity of the issue the party will approach the Prime Minister Narendra Modi over it so that timely steps be taken to avoid any kind of major set back to hard-won Punjab peace by such elements.
When the matter was taken up with Punjab Congress’s Vice-President Laal Singh then he termed it a drama exercise on the part of INLD and said that as INLD is now living in frustration so it want to take out political publicity to setlle it down in Haryana. But he reiterated that Punjab Congress is totally committed not to allow even a single drop of river water to flow out of the state as we are not having any surplus river water.
But when his attention was drawn towards the proposed massive march by INLD workers towards Punjab then he said that it’s the duty of the Union Government especially the Prime Minister not to allow any kind of goondagardi in the shape of such a march and added that besides the state government’s Punjab and Haryana are equally liable to perform their constitutional duties to check in time such activities that will prove dangerous if not checked in time.
Interestingly, when the issue was taken up with the AAP’s state Vice-President and the party’s candidate from Patiala Urban assembly seat Dr Balbir Singh then he termed such a march totally illegal and unconstitutional saying that when the issue relates to SYL canal still a sub-judice one, than how one can be allowed to play up with the issue just for one’s “political greed”. He said that the law of land is here and there is now no place for Chautala’s private army as its time is over.