Patiala: Terming that Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal was not a political issue but a matter involving the lifeline of the state, the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today said that Congress MLAs must attend the ensuing special session of state assembly for chalking out a concrete strategy to protect waters of the state.
Interacting with the media persons on the sidelines of a function to mark 20th death anniversary of Subedar Bapu Kartar Singh, the father of Cabinet Minister Mr Surjit Singh Rakhra, here today, the Chief Minister said that in the larger interests of the state, the Congress MLAs must ensure their presence in the special session. Mr. Badal said that it was the need of the hour so as that the message was conveyed to the entire country that whole Punjab was united on this emotive issue. He said that this was fight of every Punjabi and a united house must resolve to protect the waters of state at any cost.
Replying to another query, the Chief Minister said that neither NDA government nor Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has any role in this matter as the ball was now in the court of President of India, to whom the Apex court has given advice on SYL issue. He said that they would soon meet the President of India and apprise him about the depleting water level in the state. Mr. Badal said that we were duty-bound to protect waters of state and every option would be explored to save it.
On queries pertaining to protests by Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, the Chief Minister said that both these parties were indulging in political gimmickry on this issue for their vested political interests. He said that Congress was the perpetrator of this sin against the state and its people. Likewise, Mr. Badal said that AAP government in Delhi had submitted affidavit against the state in Supreme Court on this issue. “But now both of them are trying to mislead people through such tantrums”, he added.
The Chief Minister assailed the opposition parties for misleading the people on this sensitive issue. He said that not even a single inch of land for this canal was acquired during his regime adding that this canal was a conspiracy against the state which was planned and executed by the Congress party. Mr. Badal said that while Giani Zail Singh government had given its administrative approval, the Congress government headed by Mr. Darbara Singh had organized its ground breaking ceremony and even had taken back the case filed by him, as Chief Minister of state, in Supreme Court challenging this accord.
Urging the people of Punjab and Haryana to exercise restraint, the Chief Minister said that there was no animosity between the common people on this issue. He urged the people not to get panic by the rumors and tension over this matter. Mr. Badal said that people of Punjab and Haryana have been living and continue to live like two brothers in atmosphere of complete brotherly love, respect and mutual faith.
Earlier addressing the mammoth gathering, the Chief Minister, while asserting that SYL would never become a reality, today exhorted the people to make every sacrifice to protect the river waters of the state. Mr. Badal categorically stated that Punjab doesn’t have a single drop of spare water for anybody adding that SYL agreement was a grave injustice done by the successive Congress governments with the state. He said that Akali Dal was opposed to this agreement, which robbed the water of state, from day one adding that now also they were firm to their stand to not allow the construction of this canal at any cost.
The Chief Minister said that ironically Captain Amarinder Singh and other Congress leaders who hailed the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi for breaking the earth for this project in 1980s were now resorting to tactics like resignations and protests just to mislead the people. However, he said that the wise Punjabis know that they were the real culprits who ignored the interests of the state for their political future. Mr. Badal said that it was high time that every Punjabis must rise on the occasion to prevent the construction of canal, which would ruin the state.
The Chief Minister further said that water was basic ingredient of life and any such move to share the river waters of the state would be disastrous as it would ruin Punjab. He said that while doing the agreement of the SYL canal the then Congress government at the centre completely overlooked the universally accepted Riparian Principle on river water sharing. “Every Punjabi is duty bound to oppose this move and all of us should pledge to protect the waters of the state at any cost” added Mr. Badal.
Paying rich tributes to Subedaar Bapu Kartar Singh Dhaliwal, the Chief Minister recalled the outstanding services rendered by him towards nation whiole serving in Army and Police force. He said that life of Bapu Kartar Singh Dhaliwal was an inspiration for our younger generations for working hard to achieve success in life. Mr. Badal also recalled the philanthropic services rendered by Bapu ji and his sons Mr. Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, Mr. Surjit Singh Rakhra and Mr. Charanjeet Singh Dhaliwal.
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