Chandigarh, Sep 7 (SocialNews.XYZ) AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday questioned the BJP government at the Centre over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, the bone of contention for over four decades between country's leading foodgrain states -- Punjab and Haryana.
"I want to ask what is the stand of Punjab and Haryana units of the BJP and Congress on the SYL. They go to Punjab and say they won't allow SYL while in Haryana they support it," said Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal.
Accompanying Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Kejriwal in Haryana's Hisar appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to find an amicable solution on the SYL.
"The SYL is an important issue but dirty politics is being played on it. We should not fight each other. I appeal to the Prime minister to find a solution. If he is unable to get one, I am ready to give my suggestion."
Kejriwal, who was in Hisar, his birthplace, to launch AAP's nationwide campaign -- Make India No 1, said water is a big issue for both Haryana and Punjab, and groundwater level is decreasing in both the states.
The SYL canal, which was to link two major rivers -- Sutlej and Yamuna -- in Punjab and Haryana, was planned and major portions of it was even completed in the 1990s at a cost of over Rs 750 crore at that time. But it remains entangled in a political and legal quagmire with both states adamant in their stands.
Punjab, the land of five rivers, is adamant that it will not share a single drop of water with Haryana or any other state.
A day earlier, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the state has right over the SYL canal water and would claim it at any cost.
His reaction came after a hearing in this matter was held in the Supreme Court in which the Central government informed the court that the Punjab government is not giving any cooperation in the matter.
The apex court directed the Central government to organise a meeting of the chief ministers of both Punjab and Haryana and try to amicably resolve the issue.
Responding to the court order, Khattar in a statement to the media clarified that the people of the state have the right over SYL waters and they are going to claim it at any cost.
"The SYL water is very important for Haryana. On one hand, we are not getting this water, while on the other Delhi is demanding more water from us. Now fixing a deadline to resolve this issue at the earliest has become very essential," he said.
The Chief Minister said the completion of the construction work of the SYL canal is long pending and an issue of great concern between Haryana and Punjab.
Due to the non-completion of the SYL canal, surplus, un-channelled water of the Ravi, the Sutlej and the Beas is going to Pakistan.
Reacting to the Supreme Court directive, former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said Haryana will not leave even a single drop of water from its rightful share.
He said the Supreme Court has already given the final verdict in favour of Haryana.
"The Haryana government should file a contempt petition in case for disobeying the orders of the Supreme Court. Haryana will not leave even a single drop of water from its rightful share," Hooda told the media.
In Punjab, opposition parties asked Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to "stand up" for the cause of state over the SYL issue.
Accusing Mann of 'weakening' Punjab's case, Shiromani Akali Dal leader Daljit Singh Cheema on Tuesday said, "Mann should know that the stand of Punjab is clear that neither we have water nor we have land for constructing the canal."
"It is time to stand up for the cause of Punjab. Any compromise on the rights of the state to oblige (Arvind) Kejriwal will not be acceptable to Punjabis," Cheema added.
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