MLAS OF Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) Tuesday held a sit-in protest at the Punjab government secretariat to protest against the ‘failure’ of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, to give them time to take up the issue of payment of royalty to Punjab by Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi for the water supplied to these states.
Led by the Leader of Opposition, Sukhpal Khaira, LIP MLAs Simarjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains, along with AAP state co-president Aman Arora and Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu, sat outside the secretariat holding plaques demanding immediate payment of royalty to Punjab for the use of waters of its rivers.
Addressing mediapersons, Simarjeet Singh Bains said that in the previous Assembly session, he had sought to bring in a Bill on the issue of payment of dues to Punjab by the non-riparian states that were being supplied water by Punjab through canals.
“A resolution was also passed by the Assembly demanding the payment of royalty but till date nothing has been done in this regard. We have been trying to meet the Chief Minister on numerous occasions but have had no luck. We have now decided that on each Tuesday, we will sit on a dharna outside the secretariat to draw the attention of Punjab government to the fact that these states owe Punjab Rs 16 lakh crore for the use of its waters,” he said.
The Leader of Opposition claimed that he too had tried to get an appointment with the Chief Minister on this issue but had not been given one. “It is been decided by the AAP-LIP alliance that a signature campaign of all MLAs cutting across party lines will be launched demanding that Punjab should raise the issue of payment for waters supplied to the three states. The names of those MLAs who fail to sign the petition would be made public so that the people of the state know who is not defending their rights,” he said.
While the MLAs were sitting on the dharna, OSD to the Chief Minister, Capt Sandeep Sandhu, interacted with them and assured them that a meeting with the CM would be set up soon.