Water dispute

Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal: Arvind Kejriwal says Punjab has no water to spare

The AAP convener said the state's ruling party and the Congress only 'shed crocodile tears' while they try to gain ‘political mileage' from the dispute.

Aam Aadmi Party convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that Punjab has no water to spare and added that his party will fight for the state’s right over its waters. “Waters of Punjab are its own property and in no case injustice will be done to the state on this issue,” said Kejriwal who broke his silence on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal issue almost after a month since the water sharing dispute started.

Earlier, parties like the Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party had raised doubts over Kejriwal’s stand on the issue. They had accused the AAP convener of changing his statements for political gains. Kejriwal hit back at them, saying that these parties “shed crocodile tears” and try to get “political mileage out of it”. He said, “Badal first acquired land for SYL in 1978 and is now trying to act as savior of waters in 2016 by passing resolutions.” Apart from the SYL canal row, Kejriwal raked up the issues of drug menace in Punjab and said that the alliance between the AAP and the Lok Insaaf Party will free the state of evils like drugs and corruption, reported Hindustan Times.

Later, another AAP leader, HS Phoolka, echoed Kejriwal’s views during a rally organised by Bains brothers in Ludhiana’s Dana Mandi area. “The Congress and SAD-BJP leaders are giving contrasting statements in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, but Kejriwal has frankly stated that Punjab has already less water and only Punjab has the right on its water,” he said.

The SYL canal issue snowballed into a big row on November 11 when all 42 legislators of the Congress resigned from the Punjab Assembly to mark their protest against a Supreme Court verdict in the case. The apex court had struck down a Punjab law dismissing a pact to share water with five other states.

In March, the Supreme Court had ordered a status quo on a resolution passed by the ruling SAD-Bharatiya Janata Party government, through which the Punjab government had denotified the land acquired to construct the canal to return the plots to the farmers. After the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Centre was supposed to take over the construction of the conduit meant to distribute water among six states – Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Delhi.

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