Upping the ante on SYL canal issue, all 42 Congress MLAs in poll-bound Punjab resigned on Friday from their membership, as the Parkash Singh Badal government constituted a 3 member panel to explore the legal remedies after the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled the water sharing dispute in favour of neighbouring state Haryana. The MLAs marched to the state assembly after holding a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party and handed over their resignation to the secretary of the House in the absence of Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal to protest the SC order.
Under the rules, the resignation of an MP or MLA is accepted only if it has been handed to the Speaker in person. Assembly secretary Lakhanpal Mishra said he will submit the resignations to the Speaker and it will he his decision to accept or reject them. Meanwhile, the Badal government has formed a three-member legal team to go into the issue and explore the possibility of a remedy after the apex court order. “A legal team will study the judgement, examine it critically and then give some recommendations and advice to the government,” Punjab Advocate General (AG) Ashok Aggarwal said. The team comprises three Additional Advocates General, Kamal Sehgal, Vinod Bhardwaj and Rajat Khanna.
“By Saturday evening we may be ready with the advice,” he said. The state’s Congress leadership also decided to meet President Pranab Mukherjee to seek his intervention in the issue and demanded that a fresh tribunal be constituted to assess the availability of water in Punjab. “We are going to ask for time to meet President and we will apprise him of the situation. President knows everything (about the issue) we will present him Memorandum,” Amarinder said after the resignation by party MLAs. Meanwhile, seeking to mine public sentiments over the emotive issue, Congress and Akali Dal leadership continued to attack each other.
Taking on the Badal government, Amarinder said it had failed to protect the interest of the state. “If they are so concerned about the impact of the SYL verdict on Punjab, why have the Akali MPs not resigned their parliamentary seats?,” asked Amarinder, accusing the Badal government of being “solely responsible” for the “mess”.