Terming Sukhbir Singh Badal as a “power-hungry politician having no moral principles”, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Thursday said by supporting the INLD in Haryana Assembly polls, the Shiromani Akali Dal chief has put “Punjab’s water claim at stake”.
“Given INLD’s stand on the water issue, anyone siding with the Chatualas was clearly a threat to Punjab’s water rights,” said Amarinder, who held a second roadshow in Dakha constituency to campaign for Congress candidate Captain Sandeep Sandhu.
He said that while the SAD was supporting the INLD in Haryana against the BJP, it was allying with the latter in Punjab. “Sukhbir’s behaviour has exposed the fissures in the SAD-BJP alliance and a split in Punjab seems more than imminent,” he added.
The SAD is contesting the October 21 Haryana assembly polls in alliance with the INLD while it is an ally of the BJP in Punjab. The INLD has been demanding the construction of the Sutlej Yamuna link Canal for the sharing of the Ravi and Beas waters.
Again raising the issue of levy of $20 service fee by Pakistan on pilgrims travelling to Kartarpur Sahib, Amarinder said his government would continue to fight for the simplification of the procedures to travel via the Kartarpur corridor to the gurdwara in the neighbouring country. He said the poor devotees desirous of visiting the gurdwara during the 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev could not afford taxes and passports.
These things, he said, were against the ideology of “khulle darshan” (free access), which his government was fighting for.
Terming development as the key issue in the bypolls to four assembly seats in the state, the CM said the work done by the Congress government over the last two and a half years spoke for itself. He added that the Dakha constituency was completely “neglected” by former AAP MLA H S Phoolka.
Asked about the Bargari sacrilege cases, Amarinder said his government was committed to delivering justice to the victims and bringing the culprits to book. The SIT was moving expeditiously to investigate the cases and bring them to their logical conclusion, he added.
To a question on the problem of drugs, Amarinder said a lot had been achieved though problems remained as Pakistan continued to smuggle narcotics into Punjab. The state government had joined forces with neighbouring states and successfully battling the menace, he added.