CHANDIGARH: INLD MLAs from Haryana on Thursday tried to enter the Punjab Assembly to protest against a move that could stall the construction of a canal by which their State is supposed to receive water. In retaliation, Congress MLAs from Punjab marched towards the Haryana Assembly and raised slogans that they wouldn’ give any water to the neighbouring State.
INLD leader Abhay Chautala, who lead the MLAs protesting against a Punjab bill that provides for returning 3,928 acres of land acquired for the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal, said, “Punjab has backstabbed the people of Haryana by passing this denotification bill. No one in history has taken such an unconstitutional step. They have broken the relationship between the people of the two States. We broke our ties with the SAD the day they started filling the canal.” Punjab Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal who adjourned the Assembly following theincident, said, “Haryana MLAs have set a wrong precedent. They were demanding Haryana’s share of water from the SYL canal.” The Assembly later passed a resolution condemning the Haryana MLAs’ action.
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said the government approached the Supreme Court over the canal issue and apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the prevailing situation, adding that the State government had returned a cheque for Rs 191.75 crore to Punjab. The funds were received by Punjab from Haryana for the construction of the canal. Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu said the State would build the canal if the Supreme Court delivered a verdict favoring its construction. Meanwhile, Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “Punjab does not have a drop of water to spare and there is no question of Punjab accepting or implementing any decision which deprives the State of its just right under the settled riparian principle”.
The day’s developments
In the wake of the SC direction for maintenance of status quo on land meant for Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar hoped “status quo ante as it existed on March 14 has been restored in respect of the Punjab portion of the canal” in a letter to his Punjab counterpart
INLD severs ties with long-time ally SAD over the water sharing issue
Farmers in villages of Rupnagar, Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib continued to fill up the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal till Thursday evening