Chandigarh: House hits out at Punjab CM for saying won’t give SYL waters

The special session of the Assembly witnessed noisy scenes with the opposition parties demanding that the BJP government in Haryana should give a befitting reply to Punjab on the issue

Chandigarh | Updated: November 11, 2016 12:40 pm
Parkash Singh Badal, Badal, punjab river water, punjab water, punjab river, punjab news, india news CM Parkash Singh Badal.

Haryana Vidhan Sabha Thursday unanimously passed a resolution condemning the statement of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on the issue of Satlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal that he made on November 1. The Punjab CM had said he would “not give even a drop of Punjab water under any circumstances”. The special session of the Assembly witnessed noisy scenes with the opposition parties demanding that the BJP government in Haryana should give a befitting reply to Punjab on the issue.

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After the obituary resolutions were passed, MLAs of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) sought an adjournment motion given by them for discussion on the issue of farmers, including water through SYL, procurement of foodgrains at low prices, the problem of stubble burning, etc. Speaker Kanwar Pal rejected the motion stating there cannot be more than one issue in the adjournment motion. The INLD legislators raised slogans in the House terming the government anti-farmer.

Leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha, INLD’s Abhay Singh Chautala said that the Punjab government talked about the SYL issue on November 1 during a programme to celebrate Golden Jubilee of formation of Punjabi Suba.

“Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, in the presence of BJP chief Amit Shah and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, said he would not give a drop of Punjab water. Further, he said he would not abide by the decision of Supreme Court. Why is the Haryana government acting like a mute spectator? There has been no reaction for the past four days. It seems so because the BJP has an alliance with SAD. The government should bring a motion to condemn the Punjab government. Also, we should condemn all those who were on the stage when the issue was taken up,” said Chautala.

Former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the issue was very serious. “A new situation has arisen with the Punjab CM saying he will not agree with the law. A resolution to condemn the comments made by the Punjab CM should be passed. I challenge the Punjab CM that if he does not agree to the SC decision. Haryana will stop supply of power to Punjab and also stop movement of trucks. The Haryana government remained a mute spectator when the Punjab government was getting the canal filled,” he said.

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar initially said that the BJP government had ensured that the hearing on the presidential reference on the issue pending for the last 10 to 12 years took place and the decision of the SC was now reserved. He said he hoped the decision would be in Haryana’s favour. After demand from the opposition, he agreed that a resolution to condemn be presented.

As the discussion was on, Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Charanjit Singh Atwal, came to the visitor’s gallery. INLD demanded that the resolution be immediately brought to the House. As they persisted with their demand, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij made comments that were later expunged. This led to ruckus in the House, with INLD members raising slogans and entering the Well of the House. Following this, the House was adjourned twice. As the House reconvened, the parliamentary affairs minister, while moving the resolution, stated, “The statement made by Honourable Punjab Chief Minister on the issue of SYL that not a drop of water will be given has hurt the sentiments of 2.5 crore people of Haryana. The House condemns the statement given by Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal about SYL on November 1.”

Unresolved issues Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said Punjab and Haryana were like twins whose heads were joined. “It has been 50 years, but several issues continue to be unresolved. The capital is still joint. Even Telangana that has recently become a state has its own capital. We have not been able to separate our Vidhan Sabha or the High Court. Some Hindi-speaking areas that were awarded to Haryana are still with Punjab. We need to discuss how these should be taken from Punjab,” said Vij.