“River water is a life line of Punjab farmers and the interests of farmers are very dear to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the oldest regional party of the country. The party’s contribution to the cause of the state and its people is audaciously written in blood”
On April 6, 1982, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi started the SYL canal at Kapori village after she made an unconstitutional move in 1976 to award 75% of Punjab’s waters to non-riparian states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi. The Amarinder government introduced the Termination of Water Agreement Act, 2004 in the Vidhan Sabha, to be rejected by the President.
SAD has put a full-stop on efforts of Capt Amarinder Singh to cheat farmers and make them believe they were leading the battle against releasing waters through the SYL canal to Haryana. The ruling party has often said that it is ready for any sacrifice on this issue but it will not allow waters to go to neighbouring states.
SAD consistent on SYL issue
From the day this issue has arisen, the Punjab Government had been consistently saying that no compromise would be made on the rights of Punjab as a Riparian State from where these rivers originate.
The Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Parkash Singh Badal also emphasized that SAD will ensure that there is no compromise on the sharing of river waters with neighbouring Haryana under the Riparian Principle. However, the Punjab Congress and its chief, Capt Amarinder Singh for the heck of opposition launched a scathing attack on the government policies by resorting to a vilification campaign to mislead the gullible people of Punjab.
The Punjab cabinet would bring ‘Punjab Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill, 2016’ in the Assembly which will allow the government to restore land acquired for construction of SYL canal to its owners.
Also, Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal , Union Food Processing Industries Minister had accused Capt. Amarinder Singh for paying lip service and issuing press statements for public consumption. “Punjabis have been suffering repeatedly at the hands of successive Congress governments even as Punjab Congress leaders continue to pay lip service to the demands of the State. The time has come to walk the talk. Amarinder Singh should either make the Congress high command toe his line on the issue of river waters or resign as a failed leader”, said Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Also, well known for its urge to be in power and media, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) intervened into the issue and its leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira challenged Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh to an open debate on the SYL issue. Let’s see whether Capt Amarinder Singh accepts the challenge or just pay lip service over the issue.