A DAY after the Punjab Assembly passed a resolution to charge for water from non-riparian states, several leaders in Haryana resolved to meet President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and request for early implementation of the Supreme Court decision on the Sutlej-Yamuna link (SYL) canal.
An all-party meeting, convened by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday, resolved that the government would seek audience with the President and the PM to demand that Haryana should get its legitimate share of water at the earliest.
Since the SC decision on SYL, there has been a political upheaval in Punjab with Congress MLAs resigning and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal declaring that he would not let a drop of water go out of the state. Following this, the Haryana government called an all-party meeting to decide its course of action.
Interacting with the media after the meeting, Khattar said they would seek time from the President and the PM so that a delegation, comprising representatives of all parties, could meet them at the earliest. He added that he was sure that the Centre would get the SC decision implemented so that Haryana got adequate water.
Khattar said that at today’s meeting, a detailed discussion was held on the SC ruling which went in favour of Haryana and other developments in Punjab after the decision. When the oppositon demanded that a special session of the Haryana Assembly be convened, Khattar said it would be considered following the meeting with the President and PM. When asked whether Haryana would condemn the Punjab government’s decision, the CM said that as the apex court had already ruled in favour of Haryana, the decision taken by the Punjab Cabinet or the resolution passed by its Assembly would automatically be treated as repealed.
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Khattar further said that as India was run by its Constitution, one could not pass such an Act that went against the interest of another state, adding that all decisions of the Punjab government on this issue were against the Constitution.
Leaders of all Congress factions were also present at the meeting. Former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda said it is the Punjab government that should be paying more than Rs 1 lakh crore to Haryana for losses incurred by farmers due to water scarcity and assured of Congress support for any stand taken by the government.
Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Tanwar said the Punjab government should follow the SC orders and give Haryana its share of water. He added that Congress would stage protests in every district of the state and even gherao the Punjab Assembly. Congress Legislature Party leader Kiran Choudhry said Haryana was not begging for water, only demanding its legitimate share.