Giving a clarion call to people of the state to prepare themselves for tough battle ahead to safeguard the river waters of the state, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today unequivocally declared that the Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal would not allowed to be constructed at any cost and under any circumstances.
Addressing a mammoth gathering during religious congregation to mark the commemoration of historic Hola Mohalla here today, the Chief Minister without mincing any words said that it was high time to make supreme sacrifices rather than allowing the construction of SYL canal as it would divest the people of Punjab of their legitimate rights over the river waters, in blatant violation of the nationally and internationally accepted Riparian Principle. Committing his party and government to the strongest measures needed in order to protect the interests of the people of Punjab, Badal appealed to Punjabis to prepare themselves for tough battles ahead for the purpose.
The Chief Minister said that he had recently declared to safeguard the river waters of the state at any cost in accordance with the Riparian Principles in the august house of Punjab Vidhan Sabha adding that from this sacred land of martyrs today he declares that any such decision aimed at robbing the state and its people of their rights was, is and would never be accepted to me and SAD-BJP alliance. Badal expressed gratitude to the state BJP leadership especially Cabinet Minister Madan Mohan Mittal and state BJP Chief Kamal Sharma, who had fully supported the state’s cause for river waters.
Recalling the long ordeal of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for waging a relentless battle to protect the interests of the state, the Chief Minister assailed the Congress for depriving the genuine rights especially related to river waters during their successive governments at the centre. He chided the state Congress leadership for being mute spectators that surrendered haplessly before their party high command in brazen defiance of the interests of the state and its people. As a testimony to their betrayal towards the state and its people the then Chief Minister of Congress Darbara Singh along with Captain Amarinder Singh, who was MP at that time, accompanied the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for performing earth breaking ceremony of the SYL Canal, at Kapoori in 1982.
Referring to Punjab Termination of Agreements Act 2004, which Congressmen claimed as their major contribution, the Chief Minister said that all the Agreements which were terminated through this Act, were done by the Congress governments. Thus the Act was a mere admission of guilt by the Congress government headed by Captain Amarinder Singh. This Termination Act terminated nothing but the agreements signed by the Congress governments alone themselves. He said the passage of this agreement was in fact an unintentional admission of guilt by the Congress government.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister were honored for championing the cause of peasantry by bestowing ‘Kissana da Messiah’ and ‘Paaniyaan da Raakha’ award. As a token of honor and services rendered by them for well being of peasantry, the Chief Minister was presented a ‘Wooden Plough’ whereas Deputy Chief Minister was given a model of "Well”.
In his speech, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal today strongly castigated Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for playing dirty politics on SYL issue which is of utmost importance to the state. He said that both congress and AAP have displayed height of political opportunism and their dubious role has come to the fore on crucial SYL issue. He said that while Punjab Vidhan Sabha was deliberating on SYL issue and bill to de-notify the land acquired from farmers for SYL was being brought, congress MLAs resorted to dirty tactics of staging walkouts. Taking on AAP, Deputy CM said that its convener and Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal gave statement supporting Punjab’s stand on SYL but changed his tune as soon he reached Delhi which was equivalent to stabbing Punjabi people in the back.