River water meet: SAD warns CM Bhagwant Mann against participation
Chandigarh January 3 – Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday warned Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann against attending the meeting called by the center over giving Punjab’s river waters to Haryana. “As leader of the party that has led historic Morchas to protect Punjab’s lifeline, I warn you not to enter into any negotiations aimed at giving our river waters to any state in violation of the nationally and internationally accepted Riparian Principle.
Former deputy CM of Punjab accused the Chief Minister of not acting as “a custodian of Punjab and Punjabis’ critical rights but functioning only as a facilitator of Arvind Kejrival’s electoral interests in Haryana and other states. “In the year just passed, Bhagwant Mann spent all his time in promoting Kejrival and his interests at the cost of Punjab and Punjabis. He has shown no desire to function as the Chief Minister of Punjab, choosing instead to repay Kejrival “debt” for keeping him in CM’s chair. He has found no time even to study the gravity of the problems being faced by the people of the state, leave aside making efforts to solve these,” said the SAD chief.
“Any meeting convened to discuss the sharing of Punjab’s river waters is in itself a gross violation of the Riparian Principle and the Punjab Chief Minister must refuse to take part in it. If he does that, SAD will back him on this issue. His participation in any such meeting would in itself amount to abandoning Punjab’s just and constitutionally valid position on its river waters. Participation would completely destroy Punjab’s case and compromise its total and inalienable right over river waters,” said Badal in a statement here.
The Akali leader took a serious view of the statement emerging from the CMO as well as from the head of state Civil Service ( CS ) saying that Punjab was ready to assess the availability of water and give it to other states if available. “The issue is not of availability but of right . The issue is ,”Do states through which our rivers don’t flow have the right over our river waters? The Punjab government and CM must focus on settling the riparian rights of the state first before even talking about availability. Availability is of corse an issue, but only if Punjab concedes that other states have a right over our river waters. This will be a dangerous concession. “
- PTC NEWS