The Punjab Congress on Wednesday lashed out at the SAD leadership alleging they were trying to “befool people by taking a sham high moral ground” on the SYL issue. “Had the Badals, who misruled Punjab for a decade, taken proper legal recourse, matters would have not come to such a sorry pass,” a joint statement by Punjab cabinet ministers Manpreet Singh Badal, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Rana Gurjit Singh said. The statement alleged that both former CM Parkash Singh Badal and ex-deputy CM Sukhbir Badal were now trying to provoke Chief Minister captain Amarinder Singh to defy the Supreme Court, clearly exposing their utter lack of faith in the judiciary.
The Badals have never believed in the rule of law and took no meaningful steps to fight Punjab’s SYL case while they were in power, alleged the ministers.
The statement alleged that Punjab’s case had been “messed up” during Badal’s chief ministership.
“The Punjab government, under Badal, appointed as their AG, a Haryanvi advocate who was, at one time, also the AG of Haryana (under the Chautala government), and the said officer never went to the court for hearing on the SYL issue,” the PPCC leaders claimed in the statement.
Further, they said, the main reason for bringing in the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004, which was enacted during the earlier chief ministerial tenure of Amarinder, was never presented before the judiciary.
“What is more, AK Ganguly, the main architect of the Act, was removed by Badal from the legal team appointed to take the case forward in the court,” they added.
Amarinder, said the PPCC leaders, had been steadfast on his stand against the SYL all through and was committed to protecting the water rights of the people of Punjab in view of the critical water shortage in the state.
On Tuesday, Badal had said the riparian principle was “totally un-negotiable” as the basis of river water distribution among states and any solution outside its purview would never be acceptable to Punjabis while SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had hit out at Amarinder Singh for “being ready to negotiate with Haryana” to resolve contentious Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) issue.