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Canal row: Punjab in no mood to share, Haryana cries foul

Canal row: Punjab in no mood to share, Haryana cries foul
The stand-off between the three northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi worsened on Friday with Punjab assembly unanimously passing a resolution against the construction of Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYSL) canal, saying the state does not have water to share with Haryana. The neighbouring state accused Punjab of “crossing all limits” and decided to approach the Centre and Supreme Court.

Earlier in the day, piloting the resolution in Punjab assembly chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said, “Neither was there ever a need to construct SYL canal then, nor it is there now.”  

The development came a day after the apex court asked to maintain status quo on land meant for SYL canal after Haryana alleged that attempts have been made to alter its use by levelling it.

Moving the resolution, the 88-year-old Punjab chief minister said, “Punjab was facing crisis of water and does not have even one drop to share with others.” Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi, who is leader of the Opposition, and parliamentary affairs minister Madan Mohan Mittal from the BJP endorsed Badal’s view.

On the other hand Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal described the resolution passed by Punjab Vidhan Sabha as gross violation of the orders of the Supreme Court to maintain status quo and hoped that the Supreme Court would take serious note of it. 

Haryana CM said that the issue raised by Punjab was aimed at gaining mileage during ensuing assembly elections. He assured Haryana legislators that the state government would do everything possible to get its share of Ravi-Beas waters through SYL canal. He said that SYL canal was a lifeline for the farmers of Haryana and BJP has always been serious on this issue.

Meanwhile, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said it is not good to play politics over issues concerning water, expressing confidence that Haryana won’t stop supplying Delhi its share of water.

“People in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi all are our own people. It is not good to play politics this way. Everybody should get water,” Kejriwal told reporters after meeting Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu at Rail Bhawan.
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