With Punjab Chief Minister signing a Knowledge Sharing Agreement (KSA) with his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday said Bhagwant Mann had sold off the interests of Punjab to Delhi in the garb of a KSA and now AAP convener Kejriwal had become the de-facto chief minister of Punjab.
“A municipality president has been given charge of chief ministership of Punjab. Punjab has become subservient to Delhi which is not even a state,” he said while addressing a Press conference.
Accusing Punjab CM of betraying Punjab and its people by surrendering its autonomy to Delhi, Badal said Mann had hurt the pride of Punjabis as all ministers and officers of Punjab will now report to Kejriwal and that the latter will have access to all Punjab government files.
“This is also a case of violation of the official secrecy act even as clause 3 of the agreement binds future governments to decisions taken under it. We will approach the Punjab Governor and urge him to direct the chief minister to withdraw his assent to the anti-Punjab agreement. The party will also plan its next course of action in an emergency meeting of its core committee,” he said.
Asserting that the “agreement” could have dangerous repercussions, Badal said, “We apprehend that a situation could arise whereby Kejriwal could force the Punjab chief minister to sign away the state’s river waters to Haryana and Delhi in the same manner in which Congress chief minister Darbara Singh was coerced into doing so by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi”.
Asking Mann not to act like a rubber stamp and cancel the agreement if he had any Punjabi pride, the SAD chief said the chief minister should know that Kejriwal had his eyes on the chief minister’s chair of Punjab from the very beginning.
“Immediately after the AAP government was sworn in, Kejriwal started summoning the State chief secretary and police chief to Delhi and even deciding on transfers and postings. When this attracted criticism a conspiracy was hatched to institutionalize the arrangement by bringing in the ‘Knowledge Sharing Agreement” which is nothing but a document designed to hand over the administrative control of Punjab to the Delhi government,” he added.