Political heat up in Punjab after Cong MLAs resign
Upping the ante on SYL canal issue, all 42 Congress MLAs in poll-bound Punjab on Friday resigned their membership even as the Parkash Singh Badal government constituted a 3-member panel to explore legal remedies after the Supreme Court Thursday ruled in favour of neighbouring Haryana in the water sharing dispute.
The MLAs marched to the state assembly after holding a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party and handed over their resignation to the secretary of the House in the absence of Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal to protest the SC order.
Under the rules, the resignation of an MP or MLA is accepted only if it has been handed to the Speaker in person.
Assembly secretary Lakhanpal Mishra said he will submit the resignations to the Speaker and it was for him to accept or reject them.
Meanwhile, the Badal government has formed a three-member legal team to go into the issue and explore the possibility of a remedy after the apex court order.
“A legal team will study the judgement, examine it critically and then give some recommendations and advice to the government,” Punjab Advocate General (AG) Ashok Aggarwal said. The team comprises three Additional Advocates General-- Kamal Sehgal, Vinod Bhardwaj and Rajat Khanna.
“By Saturday evening we may be ready with the advice,” he said.
The state’s Congress leadership also decided to meet President Pranab Mukherjee to seek his intervention in the issue and demanded that a fresh tribunal be constituted to assess the availability of water in Punjab.
“We are going to ask for time to meet President and we will apprise him of the situation. President knows everything (about the issue)...we will present him Memorandum,” Amarinder said after resignation by party MLAs.
Meanwhile, seeking to mine public sentiments over the emotive issue, Congress and Akali Dal leadership continued to attack each other.
Taking on the Badal government, Amarinder said it had failed to protect the interest of the state.
“If they are so concerned about the impact of the SYL verdict on Punjab, why have the Akali MPs not resigned their parliamentary seats?,” asked Amarinder, accusing the Badal government of being “solely responsible” for the “mess”.
The Punjab Congress chief demanded that Akali MPs Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Prem Singh Chandumajra and Sher Singh Ghubaya immediately quit their parliamentary seats to prove their interest in resolving the vexed SYL matter in the interest of Punjab.
“Till they do that, they really have no face to make allegations against others,” he said.
Amarinder, who had quit his Lok Sabha membership Thursday, said all Congress MPs had handed over his resignation letters to him after the SC ruling on Thursday, but he asked them not to press for acceptance and continue their fight on the SYL issue in Parliament.
If Captain is sincere, he shouldn’t contest Punjab polls: Badal
SAS Nagar (Mohali): Terming the resignation of Amarinder Singh as an MP over SYL issue a “drama to mislead the people”, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday said if the Punjab Congress president were “sincere and honest” he would have announced not to contest Assembly polls.
Protesting against the Supreme Court’s verdict on the SYL canal issue, Amarinder had tendered his resignation as a Lok Sabha member on Thursday.
On Friday all Congress MLAs in Punjab resigned over the issue. The Chief Minister accused the Punjab Congress leadership of “playing to the gallery” over the issue and said Amarinder and his colleagues were “trying to become martyrs” by tendering resignations just before Assembly polls.
“Amarinder being dubious by nature had enacted this drama just to mislead the people to better his electoral prospects.
Had Amarinder been sincere and honest he’d have announced not to contest the forthcoming assembly polls,” Badal said.
He dared the Punjab Congress chief to ask his fellow Congress MPs from state to step down on this issue if he was “really aghast” with Supreme Court verdict on the issue. “Rather he was pitching for President’s Rule in the state for paving a way for completion of SYL canal in the absence of any democratically-elected people’s government,” Badal said.
Conditions becoming favourable for Haryana: CM Khattar
Gurugram:Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict on Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said conditions are now becoming favourable for the state.
“This is the golden jubilee year for Haryana and conditions are now becoming favourable. There is a good news for people in the southern part of Haryana -- Faridabad-Mewat- Gurgaon-Mahindergarh-Rewari-Bhiwani area.
“The Supreme Court on Thursday made a decision in favour of Haryana on the Satlej-Yamuna canal issue. Now people will get enough water for farming and it will also be made fit for drinking after processing,” he said at Harchandpur village here.
The water dispute assumed a new dimension with the Supreme Court on Thursday holding as unconstitutional the 2004 law passed by Punjab to terminate the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water sharing agreement with neighboring states.
The Haryana chief minister also lauded the Centre’s demonetisation decision, saying the “revolutionary step” will help curb black-marketing, hoarding and economic crimes.
“Works which no one could imagine until recent are now happening. Now we have arrived at a situation where those who do not have anything are smiling while those who have lots are worrying what to do!
“The government’s decision of scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is a laudable effort because it will help curb black-marketing, hoarding and economic crimes,” he said.
“Since the last two days, the news we are getting is that the common man is happy. Those who have nothing are smiling and those who have a lot are worrying as to what to do. The trend has reversed.