The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday hit back at Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president, Sukhbir Singh Badal, for targeting the Delhi government, run by Arvind Kejriwal, and said that it was Akali stalwart, Parkash Singh Badal, who had played an important role in ensuring the Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal (SYL) came up in Punjab.
Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh on Thursday, AAP MLA from Sunam, Aman Arora, said that Sukhbr Singh Badal’s father and the then Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, had not only ensured that the state government departments issued notifications for acquisition of land for construction of SYL canal but he even demanded and received cash compensation for the project from Haryana.
“Sukhbir Singh Badal should answer as to why on Aug 20, 1978, Parkash Singh Badal issued notifications for land acquisition for SYL in Punjab. He should also answer why on July 4, 1978, Parkash Singh Badal, wrote a letter to Haryana Chief Minister demanding Rs 3 crore to construct SYL. In fact, Haryana issued more than Rs 1 crore to Punjab for constructing SYL in response to this letter,” said Arora.
Arora added that on July 24, 1985, the Longowal Pact was signed which again said SYL will be completed in two years. “Why did the Akalis sign that pact? They are the ones who have laid the grounds for the SYL dispute between Punjab and Haryana, and now they have the gall to turn around and question our national convener Arvind Kejriwal. Between 2014 and 2017 Akalis were partners in the Central government with the BJP, which was in power in Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan. Then why did you not get this issue resolved then,” asked Arora.
Turning attention towards the 13 point agenda issued by Sukhbir Singh Badal — under his “Gall Punjab Di” programme of electoral outreach for the 2022 polls — Arora said, the event should be renamed “Gapp Punjab Di”. “I am yet to see more intellectual bankruptcy in a political leader than what has been shown by Sukhbir Badal, when he announced free IELTS coaching for the youth of Punjab to go abroad. What kind of political leader would want the precious human resources of a state to migrate abroad,” he asked.
Calling the agenda points of SAD as “directionless agenda of Sukhbir Singh Badal”, Arora issued a 14 point questionnaire for Sukhbir to answer.
“Since he accused Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh of misgovernance, and on many points rightly so, we demand that he should also put forth the ten-year report card of his own government. He has only been trying to fool people. We are asking 14 questions from Sukhbir. And we want the people of Punjab to ask these questions from Sukhbir when he visits their villages,” he said.