Punjab and Haryana were locked into arguments over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue and sharing of river waters in the 28th Northern Zonal Council meeting held here on Friday even as Punjab claimed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had asked two states to develop a consensus to resolve the contentious issue through “dialogue”. Rajnath, as per a press release by Punjab government, however, said if dialogues failed to yield results, the matter should be left to the courts to decide.
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, it was learnt, mooted the idea to settle the issues relating to river sharing “out-of-court”. Haryana was represented in the meeting by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. After Haryana claimed to have an “edge” in the legal battle involving SYL canal, Manpreet Badal was learnt to have said, “Punjabis do not mind sacrificing their life if you ask with love, but do not show us the rulebook.”
“Punjab and Haryana on Friday agreed to try and find a collective solution to the dispute through dialogue,” said a statement issue by the Punjab government which hosted the meeting.
Later, a Haryana government statement quoted the CM as saying in the meeting, “The state government is willing to work towards an amicable settlement of every issue but we must always honour agreements arrived at in the past. Since our faith in the Constitution of India is full and unflinching, we would never hesitate in taking legal recourse in our determination to safeguard our interests and to protect the rights of the residents of the State”.