Surapur: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday hit out at Opposition Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over Sutlej Yamuna link canal (SYL) issue, accusing them of "conniving" with each other to deprive the state of its legitimate share of river water.
The chief minister said both Congress and AAP were the "enemies" of the state, who have "joined hands to snatch" the water of Punjab by constructing Sutlej Yamuna link canal (SYL) thereby robbing it of its legitimate share of river water.
"Both AAP and Congress are conniving with each other to deprive Punjabis of every single drop of water," Badal alleged during his Sangat Darshan programme of Nawanshahar Assembly segment in Surapur.
"The recent affidavit submitted by Delhi government in the Supreme Court on the SYL issue has exposed the anti-Punjab stance of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)," Badal claimed, adding Delhi government has termed the stand taken by Punjab as "unconstitutional and anti-national".
"Even Kejriwal-led government has warned Punjabis of dire consequences due to their firm stand of not allowing the construction of SYL," he alleged.
"This is a grave insult to brave and hard working Punjabis, who are just seeking their legitimate right on waters," he added.
The chief minister said as per riparian principle of water-sharing, Punjab was the only "rightful owner" of river waters of the state.
Badal said Congress had "divested the state of its rights" by giving water to Rajasthan, Haryana and other states.
He said that it was ironical that state Congress Chief Amarinder Singh, who was shedding "crocodile tears" on the issue, had "enthusiastically welcomed" the then prime minister Indira Gandhi to lay the foundation stone of SYL.
"Punjabis can never forgive Congress for its sins against Punjab," he alleged.
Badal charged Congress has "meddled" in the social, political, economic and even religious affairs of the state and "successive Congress governments at the Centre had deliberately denied a state of Punjabi speaking areas, its capital Chandigarh and even its legitimate share in river
"How can any true Punjabi forget and forgive Operation Blue Star and the killing of innocents in 1984 anti-Sikh carnage?" Badal asked.
The chief minister announced to complete the ongoing work of rejuvenation of Bist Doab canal and Kandi Canal, the two major arteries of irrigation in the region, by coming June so as to provide a 'robust irrigation mechanism' to the people of Doaba region.
Amid media reports claiming that students, who have passed Std XII examination from the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), would not be issued visas to study in Australia, the chief minister said his government would seek the intervention of the Centre to impress upon the Australian government to revoke its decision.
He said though the state government could not directly do anything tangible on the matter but all out efforts would be made to raise this matter through the central government.
"Punjab is front-runner state in the field of education and denial of visa to its students is sheer injustice with us, which cannot be tolerated at any cost," said Badal.