Led by state BJP chief Sunil Jakhar, several senior party leaders sit in protest near CM Bhagwant Mann’s official residence
Chandigarh, October 7, 2023 (PTI): The Punjab BJP Saturday held a protest over the issue of Sutlej Yamuna link (SYL) canal, accusing the AAP Government of failing to safeguard the state’s interest on river waters.
The Opposition party asserted that Punjab does not have water to share with any other state.
Led by Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar, several senior party leaders, including Union Minister Som Parkash, sat in protest near the official residence of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
Former union minister Vijay Sampla, former MP Avinash Rai Khanna, former deputy speaker of Lok Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal and former minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi also joined the protest.
They were not allowed to head towards the residence of the CM with raising barricades and deploying heavy force.
Later, police detained the Punjab leaders.
Speaking to reporters, Jakhar alleged the Bhagwant Mann government backstabbed the people of Punjab over the SYL issue under a deep-rooted conspiracy.
The government “weakened” Punjab’s stand in the Supreme Court over the SYL issue, he alleged.
In the apex court, the state government has stated it was ready to build the canal but the opposition parties and farmers were opposing it, he further alleged.
But Mann kept saying in public that there was not even a single drop of water to share with any other state, said Jakhar, accusing the AAP government of having double standards.
Earlier, the Punjab BJP held its core committee meeting at its party headquarters and discussed the SYL issue.
On October 4, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to survey the portion of land in Punjab which was allocated for the construction of part of the SYL canal in the state and make an estimate of the extent of construction carried out there.
The SYL canal was conceptualised for effective allocation of water from the Ravi and Beas rivers. The project envisaged a 214-km canal, of which a 122-km stretch was to be constructed in Punjab and the remaining 92 km in Haryana.
Haryana has completed the project in its territory but Punjab, which launched the construction work in 1982, shelved it subsequently. (PTI)