Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today met the senior counsels representing the state in a case arising from the Presidential reference on the validity of the Punjab Termination Agreements Act 2004 in the Supreme Court and gave some vital inputs to them regarding the case particularly with regard to Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal.
In a meeting with senior counsels Harish Salve, Ram Jethmalani, Rajiv Dhawan, RS Suri, Mohan Katarki, Arun Kathpalia, Vinay Shailendra and JS Chabra in New Delhi today, the Chief Minister apprised them that SYL was not merely a political or legal issue for them rather it was an emotive issue, which should be tackled on the top priority with utmost sensitivity and caution, as river waters was the lifeline of every Punjabi especially the farmers.
The Chief Minister further said that Punjab was primarily an agrarian state and river waters were its lifeline. However, he said that after the partition of the country, Punjab had been subjected to continuous discrimination and injustice. Badal said that according to the Riparian Principles, Punjab had absolute right over its river waters but through various agreements and decisions it had been robbed of its due share in broad daylight. "The people of Punjab are the custodians of the river waters in the state and won’t allow to share a single drop of it with any state as Punjab didn’t have spare water to share with anyone” he added.
The Chief Minister apprised the counsels that despite the owners of river waters, the farmers of Punjab had to rely heavily on tubewells, as 73% of irrigation was being done through them resulting in fast depletion of water table.
He said that now the situation has become extremely grave and to tolerate this injustice would amount to signing a death warrant of Punjab and Punjabis. "Punjab didn’t have a single drop of water to share with anyone and any attempt to divest river waters of Ravi, Beas from Punjab and forcefully implementing the decision to construct SYL on Punjab in defiance to nationally and internationally accepted riparian principles will never be tolerated at any cost” added Badal.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also slammed his Delhi counterpart and national convenor of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal for shamelessly changing stance on this issue. He said that even ‘chameleon’ could not change the color as frequently as Kejriwal has done in this case. Badal said that hypocrisy of Delhi Chief Minister in this case and the stand taken by Delhi government against Punjab has proved that these people have no sympathy with the state and its people.