Mr Mann also refused to repudiate AAP Haryana unit president Sushil Gupta’s statement that the next AAP government will provide water from the SYL to all parts of Haryana: SAD
Chandigarh, November 1 , 2023: As per media reports, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said chief minister Bhagwant Mann had compromised Punjab’s stand on the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal by asserting that Rajasthan and Haryana had complete rights over the State’s river waters.
The SAD leaders accused him of mouthing blatant lies and wasting Rs 30 crore to conduct a one man show which should have been titled ‘Main Jhooth Bolda’.
According to media reports, senior SAD leaders Balwinder Singh Bhundur, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema and Virsa Singh Valtoha also took on the chief minister for indulging in a slander campaign against former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The SAD leaders said contrary to the claim made by Mr Mann, the Bani distributary, which served 20 villages in Haryana, had become operational in 1955 and not 1998. The leaders challenged the chief minster to prove otherwise or apologize immediately.
They also said the truth was that former Haryana chief minister Devi Lal approached the Supreme Court to demand construction of a canal to take Punjab waters to Haryana while Mr Parkash Singh Badal opposed this by filing a petition challenging Section 78 of the Punjab Reorganization Act in 1979.
The leaders said Mr Bhagwant Mann had not only insulted Punjabis by refusing to answer questions put to him but had also hurt their sentiments by refusing to commiserate with the victims of the Delhi genocide which also occurred on this day.
They said besides failing to tell Punjabis how he would save the waters of the State, the chief minister had also refused to address the burning issues faced by farmers, youth and the poorer sections of society as well as the issue of drug menace and breakdown of law and order.
Telling the chief minister that he had gone against the interests of Punjab on SYL today, the leaders said “the chief minister refused to discuss the distribution of half of the total water share of Punjab to Rajasthan in 1955 because he wants to secure votes from the State for AAP in the forthcoming elections there”.
They said similarly the chief minister asserted that water distribution between Punjab and Haryana should be 60:40 and not 50:50. “This amounts to selling the interests of Punjab to Haryana and is against the Riparian Principle which gives Punjab inalienable rights over its river waters”.
They also objected to the manner in which the chief minister had written to Rajasthan and Haryana governments asking them how much water they needed when water regulation was the responsibility of the BBMB.
“It is clear that this was done to show the Punjab is ready to give water to the neighbouring States during elections in both States”. They said this indicated that the chief minister was standing with those who were looting the State.
The leaders said Mr Bhagwant Mann had also done a disservice by omitting references to three land mark events which had halted the release of water to Haryana from the SYL canal.
They said these included the opposition to Section 78 of the Punjab Reorganization Act, the Kapoori Morcha and the denotification of land on which the SYL canal stood – all by the Shiromani Akali Dal.
The leaders said the chief minister should have also explained why he had kept silent on the grave demand of Punjab MP Sandeep Pathak that Haryana should be given water from the SYL.
“Mr Mann also refused to repudiate AAP Haryana unit president Sushil Gupta’s statement that the next AAP government will provide water from the SYL to all parts of Haryana or explain why he organized meetings of the Haryana AAP unit from a bungalow which was part of his ministerial pool”.