Punjab government orders 'strict action.'
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) held a ‘dharna’ in Abohar on Wednesday against an alleged Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) conspiracy to trade off Punjab’s river waters to Rajasthan to secure votes in the desert state in the upcoming Assembly polls there. Countering the charge, AAP accused Akali dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal of lying on the issue.
AAP’s Punjab chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang said the Bhagwant Mann Government will not give even a drop of extra water to Rajasthan. An irrigation water crisis is being faced by farmers in the Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar districts of Rajasthan which borders Punjab.
He said Punjab is already acutely short of water, so there is not even a possibility of giving more water to other states. There has never been any talk of giving more water than what is going to Rajasthan for the last 60-70 years. Rajasthan will not get even a drop of extra water than that, he said accusing Badal of deliberately spreading lies to defame Punjab CM and AAP.
Addressing party workers at Abohar, the SAD chief, however, said the very fact that the CM did not denied news reports about the assurance given by him to Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) chief Hanuman Beniwal and Rajasthan farmers that the AAP government would increase water share flowing from the Sirhind Feeder to Rajasthan was proof of a diabolic plot to rob Punjab of its river waters.
“The chief minister has given a specific assurance to increase the water share from the present 700 cusecs to 1250 cusecs which strikes at the very livelihood of lakhs of our farmers,” he added.
Badal said Punjab was bleeding from the discrimination meted out to the state by the Congress party. In 1955, the Congress’ government at the Centre allocated eight million acre feet of the total 15.85 maf of the Ravi-Beas waters to Rajasthan.
Asking farmers to remain vigilant against the conspiracies of AAP and its boss Arvind Kejriwal, the SAD leader recalled that a year ago, Kejriwal had assured the people of Haryana in front of Bhagwant Mann that AAP will get Satluj Yamuna Link waters to Haryana if elected to power in the state.
He the SAD would continue to stand by the Riparian Principle. “We will not allow one drop of extra water to go to Rajasthan nor will we allow any water to go to Haryana from the SYL canal,” he added.
This follows claims by RLP chief and Member of Parliament (MP) from Nagaur, Hanuman Beniwal’s meeting with the Punjab CM at Bathinda on Sunday over the irrigation water crisis being faced by farmers in the Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar districts of Rajasthan which borders Punjab.
“Punjab chief minister and my friend Bhagwant Mann will soon take a positive decision as per the demand of the farmers with regard to the agitation that has been going on over 1250 cusecs of water,” Beniwal said in a tweet after the meeting.