Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday said his government will "do everything possible" to stop the state's water from flowing into Haryana, as he moved a resolution in the Assembly against the construction of Sutlej-Yamuna-Link (SYL) canal.
Badal moved a resolution saying in the interest of the people of Punjab, the House unanimously directs the state government, Cabinet and all government officials not to hand over the state's land for the construction of SYL canal and neither allow anybody to work on it, nor to cooperate for the purpose.
"The House takes a serious view of the fact that Punjab is already short of its water needs and farmers of the state are facing serious water crisis," he said. The resolution was moved amid empty opposition benches as all 42 Congress MLAs had resigned from the state Assembly after the Supreme Court last week held the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004, passed by Punjab to terminate water sharing pacts with neighbouring states as "unconstitutional".
Addressing the special session of Punjab Assembly on SYL issue, the Chief Minister said the entire Congress leadership had been accusing him and SAD of changing stand on the issue.
"It is SAD which opposed this anti-Punjab decision tooth and nail whereas Congressmen accepted the verdict of their high command and the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi thereby marginalising the very interests of the state and its people," he alleged.
Recalling his statement in 2002, as then chief minister, after the Supreme Court directed the state to complete the canal, he said, "At that time I had said ...We will not implement the court order at any cost. Not a drop of water will be given to anyone even if we have to go to jail."
Badal claimed that he, his party and the government stand firmly on this even today.
"Any decision to rob Punjab of its legitimate rights on river waters is, was and will never be accepted by me or by the SAD-BJP alliance government.
"Likewise, there is and was no need to construct the SYL canal and there is no possibility for its construction, nor will it be allowed under any circumstance," he said.
Taking strong exception to the absence of Congress MLAs at the Session, Badal blamed them for their "doubles speak", alleging that on one hand they are "shedding crocodile tears" over the Supreme Court's SYL verdict and on the other they "ran away" (not attending the session).
They did it "deliberately" because they are "guilty conscious for betraying" Punjab and its people on territorial issues including river waters, several times, he claimed.
Claiming that the state had been frequently meted out "discrimination, excesses and injustice", the Chief Minister said, "We have to struggle to secure our rights since inception and even supreme sacrifices were made."