WITH THE BJP government in Haryana inviting leaders of political parties in the state for a meeting of an all-party delegation with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on March 24 to discuss the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue, the opposition has lambasted the government for not being able to arrange a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Haryana government had held an all-party meeting on November 17 last year after the Punjab government denotified land acquired for SYL. It was then decided that an all-party delegation would meet President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Modi. Congress and Indian National Lok Dal leaders said that while Captain Amarinder Singh has been able to meet Modi within days of taking over as Punjab Chief Minister, the Haryana government has failed to fix a meeting with him in four months.
Leader of Opposition and INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala said, “The Punjab chief minister took oath a few days back and has already met the PM. Haryana’s chief minister has been unable to get time in the last four months. It is very unfortunate as the interests of the state are at stake.”
The Supreme Court, in its November 8 order, had nullified the Termination of Water Termination Act passed by the Punjab government.
The SC has directed that construction of the canal be completed. However, political parties in Punjab have said that they would not let a drop of water go out of Punjab. In 2004, it was the Amarinder Singh government that had passed the Act to terminate all water-sharing agreements.
Haryana Congress Legislature Party leader Kiran Choudhry said the state government not being able to get an appointment with the PM shows how little concern the Centre and the state have for the people of Haryana. “Despite this being finalised at the all-party meeting, the Haryana government has failed to get an appointment with the PM in four months. We will be going to meet the Union Home Minister as it involves Haryana’s interests. But the government should have fixed an appointment with the PM,” she said.
Former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda said he would himself seek an appointment with the Prime Minister to raise this issue. “The chief minister told me that he received a message from the PM that we should meet the home minister. We agreed. But, we will ask the CM to get the PM’s appointment or I will seek an appointment.”
The BJP leaders maintained that since the issue involves execution of work, they have decided to meet the home minister on the PM’s direction.
Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala said, “The opposition parties are giving the meeting of Captain Amarinder and the PM a wrong twist. He is a newly elected CM and met the PM. The issue of SYL is at a stage where execution of the SC orders needs to be done. It was deemed appropriate that we should meet the home minister as it concerns his department. It is wrong to say that the PM is not giving time.”
According to a government spokesperson, before a meeting with the Home Minister, representatives of all parties will meet at Haryana Bhawan the same day. The delegation will be led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.