Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India would stop river water from flowing to Pakistan, and divert it to Haryana as farmers in the state were its rightful claimants, IANS reported.

Modi, who addressed an election rally in Haryana’s Charkhi Dadri district, said: “For 70 years, the water which belongs to India and the farmers of Haryana flowed to Pakistan. Modi will stop this water [from flowing into Pakistan] and bring to your houses.”

The prime minister claimed he had started the process of stopping water from flowing to Pakistan, ANI reported. “The water belongs to India and farmers of Haryana...That is why Modi is fighting for you.”

On August 21, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat had said the Centre had started the process of stopping water from flowing to Pakistan but added that the Indus Waters Treaty would not be violated. The day before, India rejected Pakistan’s claims that it was not informed about the release of water from a dam that could cause flooding in its territory. Islamabad also accused New Delhi of waging “fifth-generation warfare” and alleged that the unexpected release of water into the Sutlej was an attempt to break the treaty.

The Indus Waters Treaty, drawn up in September 1960 and brokered by the World Bank, lays down rules for how the water of the Indus and its tributaries that flow in both the countries will be used. According to the pact, India controls Beas, Ravi and Sutlej, while Pakistan controls Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.

Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign

The prime minister praised Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and spoke about the success of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign in the state. “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign would not have been effective without the support of Haryana villages,” Modi added.

He said Chinese President Xi Jinping had seen Dangal – a 2016 Hindi movie based on the life of Commonwealth Games gold medalist Babita Phogat, who is contesting the elections on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket from Dadri. “During my recent informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he said to me that he had seen Dangal which showcased excellent performance of daughters of India,” Modi added. “I felt really proud of Haryana on hearing this.”

Modi said Diwali in Haryana should be dedicated to “our daughters and to celebrate their achievements”.

The prime minister also accused the Congress of spreading lies about the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status. “At a time when the country is hailing the decision to abrogate Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, a few Congress leaders were spreading lies in the country and the world about it,” Modi claimed. “If you have guts, then say we will bring Article 370 [if we are voted to power].”

The prime minister expressed confidence about the BJP’s victory in the elections on October 21. “It’s clear, the BJP has decided to serve Haryana again, these people have decided to let BJP serve them,” he added.

Modi claimed the state witnessed “unprecedented development” because of his and Khattar’s leadership.

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