Dal Khalsa flays Amarinder over SYL canal issue

Notably, INLD leader Abhay Chautala had announced that party activists will assemble at Ambala on February 23 and march towards Punjab for the objective of digging the SYL canal after the recent Supreme Court verdict favouring Haryana in terms of sharing of river waters.

The central government should also immediately step in to order large-scale deployment of armed forces ahead of the INLSD threat.

Reacting to the INLD leadership's alleged open defiance of law and intelligence reports indicating revival of terrorism in Punjab over the SYL issue, Amarinder warned the situation could go out of hand if the INLD activists force their way into Punjab to dig the canal.

Demanding preventive arrest of INLD leader Abhay Chautala and cancellation of party supremo Om Prakash Chautala's parole to control the situation, Amarinder said he himself had been repeatedly warning that the SYL issue had the potential to trigger the revival of terrorism in Punjab.

This time, the ante is being upped in Haryana by the main Opposition party, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which plans to start digging the canal from Haryana and end at the Punjab border.

Following a Presidential Reference, the Supreme Court in November a year ago held the passing of the Punjab Termination of Water Agreements Bill, 2004, by the Punjab assembly as "unconstitutional". The matter in question was a presidential reference to the Punjab Termination of Waters Agreement Act, 2004, that was brought about by the Congress government under Captain Amarinder Singh.

Abay was creating chaos only to revive his political moorings and that the Badals have left the state in this hour of crisis to help their Haryana friend Chautala to play misadventure, he said. Haryana's Health Minister Anil Vij has also described the INLD's move a "gimmick".

Taking Amarinder to task for allegedly raising the bogey of terror, Dal Khalsa party head Harpal Singh Cheema reminded the former chief minister that the first practical action to effectively stop the construction of the SYL canal was taken up by Babbar Khalsa militants in 1990s.

In a statement issued here, Captain Amarinder asked the Badal-led Punjab government to protect the state's borders from any infringement. The SYL is a 214-km-long canal project to interlink the Sutlej and Yamuna rivers and defines water-sharing between Punjab and Haryana.

With the code of conduct still in place in Punjab, and elections in progress in some other states, the Election Commission (EC) should also take note of the development and direct the Centre to intervene in order to ensure that peace is maintained at all costs, said the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president.

  • Leroy Wright