With the Supreme Court on Tuesday directing Punjab and Haryana to obey orders passed by it on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday said if chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh was sincere about protecting the rights of Punjab he should unequivocally declare “no SYL–no water to Haryana” immediately.
In a statement, the SAD president said this was of utmost importance as a wrong message had been sent out to Punjabis by the CM by welcoming the Supreme Court order which has given two months time to execute its decree to give Punjab’s waters to Haryana through the SYL canal.
“By welcoming this move and stating that he is ready to start negotiations with Haryana on this issue, the CM has sent out a message that the waters of Punjab can be put on the negotiating table. Nothing can be more absurd than this. What will he negotiate? Does he want to sell out the interests of Punjab?,” he said.
The SAD president said the fact of the matter was that Punjab’s rights over its river waters were inalienable and could never become a matter of negotiation.
“Capt Amarinder should understand this before even speaking on this issue. If he is still in doubt he should take note that no SYL exists on Punjab territory as of now. "(Former CM) Parkash Singh Badal has returned the land acquired for the canal back to farmers. What will Capt Amarinder negotiate with Haryana when the issue has already been settled on the ground?” Badal asked.
He said the Punjab CM should make it clear to Haryana that the waters of Punjab are not negotiable. "Don’t dilly-dally and use sweet talk on this issue. Be firm and decisive," Badal said adding that if Capt Amarinder went to the negotiating table, the SAD will go the people and stop you from taking any such step.