The Haryana Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution opposing the Punjab government for staking claim over the Union Territory of Chandigarh, PTI reported.
Chandigarh serves as the capital of both states.
The resolution was moved by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and was passed unanimously in the Haryana Assembly after a three-hour debate. A special one-day session of the Assembly had been called to discuss the matter.
The Assembly expressed concern about Punjab’s claim over Chandigarh. “This is not acceptable to the people of Haryana,” the resolution stated, adding that the state retains the right over the joint capital.
Haryana Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that Punjab’s resolution had no meaning, and was merely a political gimmick, according to PTI. “Punjab’s role as an elder brother is acceptable, but if it tries to play the role of the big brother, that is not acceptable to us,” he said.
Haryana’s resolution called on the Centre not to take any actions that would disturb the existing balance between the two states.
On April 1, the Punjab Assembly had passed a resolution seeking the immediate transfer of Chandigarh to the state.
The resolution was moved after Union Home Minister Amit Shah had announced on March 27 that central civil service rules will be applied to all Chandigarh administration employees.
Mann and other political leaders in Punjab had opposed the move. The chief minister had said that the Union government’s decision was against the spirit of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966.
Meanwhile, the Haryana Assembly also sought the completion of the Satluj-Yamuna Link Canal, or the SYL canal, and the transfer of Hindi-speaking areas in Punjab to Haryana.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the state needs the SYL canal, and not publicity for it, NDTV reported. “The Supreme Court had said that Punjab and Haryana can sit and find a solution,” he said. “But we say that now there will be no talk with anyone.”
Dispute on SYL canal
The Satluj Yamuna Link has been a major point of dispute between Punjab and Haryana. The canal is meant to allow Haryana to draw its share of water from the Ravi and Beas rivers, besides distributing water among four other states – Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Delhi. It was decided in 1981 that both Punjab and Haryana would construct their portions of the canal within their territories.
Haryana constructed the portion of the canal, but Punjab stopped work after the initial phase. In 2004, the state government passed the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act to end the 1981 agreement. In 2016, the Supreme Court struck down the law.
In February 2017, the court said that the Punjab government could not defy its order on construction of the Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal, and ordered it and Haryana to maintain peace while it was being built.