AAM AADMI Party is no different from other parties, especially when it comes to cashing in on issues like SYL, claimed the residents of Kapoori, the village where Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had laid the foundation stone of the canal in 1982.
A visit to the village on Friday when AAP leaders were holding dharna at Slara head, the last point of the proposed canal around one-and-a-half kilometers away, showed that the residents felt that the issue was nothing but a curse for their village. When some villagers were asked about their reactions to the SYL issue, they refused to speak. While the youngsters did not know much, the elders complained that during elections, all parties rake up the issue, thereby making them feel uncomfortable.
The village, with a population of around 7,000, has a big ground, the venue of Indira Gandhi’s function. The villagers said that the SYL was away from their village and their lands were not acquired for the canal. Ram Singh (59), who had witnessed the foundation laying ceremony, told The Indian Express that the whole area was agog with the news of the Prime Minister’s visit. But later, the SAD leadership started protesting and they learnt that the canal was against the interests of Punjab.
“I still remember that when Indira Gandhi came, the whole area had turned into a fortress and some SAD leaders protested. Indira Gandhi came in a helicopter, laid the foundation stone and left. After the inauguration, SAD leaders thronged the village and started protesting,” said Singh.
Sukha Singh (69), another villager, said though all the parties have turned their village into a battleground for elections, the issue is still alive. “I do not like any party. I only vote for a good candidate who remains among the people. I would like to say that all the parties played politics and AAP is no different. Although many leaders remained MPs and ministers, none raised the issue in Parliament. Whenever elections come, the leaders make a beeline for our village to raise the issue,” rued Sukha Singh.
Darbara Singh, the sarpanch, said their village had a tradition of people voting according to their wishes, adding that the SYL issue should be resolved amicably so that water is not lost and that all parties should raise the matter in Parliament, not in the village.