No compromise on Punjab’s water: Sukhbir Badal

Chandigarh, Aug 19 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Badal on Wednesday warned Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh against “compromising on the state's consistent and principled stand on the riparian principle with regard to the unsustainable demand for distribution of river waters”.

The Akali leader said the SYL canal issue stood closed forever after the Parkash Singh Badal-led government had returned the acquired land to its original owner farmers.

The SAD President said the Chief Minister should have categorically told Union Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat that massive injustice had been done to Punjab by successive Congress governments, especially by Indira Gandhi, in looting Punjab's waters and giving these unjustly to Rajasthan and Haryana.

“Congress Chief Minister Darbara Singh had signed on Punjab's death warrants. When told by Indira Gandhi to choose between his chair as CM and Punjab's rights on river waters, Darbara Singh chose his chair,” an official statement quoting Sukhbir Badal said.

“Punjabis are now paying with their lives the price for the greed of the Congress leaders like Darbara Singh.”

The Akali leader said building a canal without determining the quantum of water, if any, to flow through it is a ‘patently absurd idea'.

“Never in human history has a canal ever been built without first ascertaining the availability of the water. That is literally putting the cart before the horse and the people of Punjab are totally at a loss to understand why such an absolutely irrational and unprecedented demand was being made at all.”

Former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir reiterated that Punjabis and the Akali Dal would never accept the construction of the SYL nor allow it to be built.

He said Amarinder Singh's arguments in Tuesday's meeting with the Haryana counterparts have surprised the Punjabis as these constitute a departure from the known and consistent position on riparian principle.

“Punjab's claim on river waters is based on the nationally and internationally accepted riparian principle. The issue of Yamuna waters is only an argument against Haryana's stand. We just want that we must not be robbed of our own river waters and we don't demand Yamuna waters because we stick to the riparian principle,” Sukhbir added.



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