Anandpur Sahib (Punjab): Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday said the construction of Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal would not be "allowed at any cost and under any circumstance" and asked the people to be prepared for tough battle ahead to safeguard river waters of the state.
It was high time to make "supreme sacrifices" rather than allowing the construction of SYL canal as it would divest
people of Punjab of their legitimate rights over river waters, in "blatant violation" of the nationally and internationally accepted Riparian principle, Badal said.
Addressing a gathering during religious congregation to mark the commemoration of historic 'Hola Mohalla' in Anandpur Sahib, Badal appealed to Punjabis to prepare themselves for tough battles ahead for the purpose.
The Chief Minister said 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.
He declared that decisions aimed at "robbing" the state and its people of their "rights" would never be accepted to
him 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 state of its genuine rights" especially related to river waters during their successive governments at the Centre.
Badal said 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 all the agreements which were terminated through this Act, were done by 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.
He claimed the passage of this agreement was in fact an "unintentional admission of guilt" by the Congress government.
Holding the Congress party "responsible" for meting out "step motherly" treatment to Punjab in every sphere be it
political, social, economic and even religious, the Chief Minister said the Punjabis in general and Sikh community in particular could never forgive the Congress party for its "sins" against Punjab.
Badal said how could the Sikh community forget "sins" of Congress like Operation Blue Star and 1984 anti-Sikh carnage, which have inflicted deep wounds on the Sikh psyche.
He alleged that the Congress governments at the Centre had deliberately denied the state of Punjabi speaking areas,
its capital Chandigarh and even its legitimate share in river waters.
Badal claimed there was a wide consensus that Punjab did not have even a single drop of water to spare for any
other state, neither is it even possible to do so.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister were honoured for championing the cause of peasantry by bestowing 'Kissana da Messiah' and 'Paaniyaan da Raakha' award.
As a token of honour 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 AadmiParty (AAP) for playing "dirty politics" on SYL issue which is of utmost importance to the state.
He alleged that both Congress and AAP have displayed height of "political opportunism" and their dubious role has
come to the fore on crucial SYL issue.
Taking on AAP, Sukhbir Badal 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.
Sukhbir claimed that the SAD-BJP Government in Punjab under dynamic leadership of Badal has promulgated several people friendly schemes and initiatives like waiving tubewell bills, enacted law according to which government would fix interests to be paid at loans, loans worth Rs 50,000 for crops from co-operative banks at which no interest would be payable.
He said Kandi and Bist Doab canals would have water soon and farmers having under 2.5 acres of land would to be given tubewell connection in 15 days.
Provident fund and pension scheme for farmers, Atta-Dal scheme, shagan scheme, enhancement of old age pension, health and accidental insurance for farmers and poor people have also been launched, he added.