Chandigarh, Sep 7 (SocialNews.XYZ) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday condemned Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal for asserting water from the SYL Canal should be given to Haryana as well as the endorsement given to this "anti-Punjab" statement by state Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
Expressing shock at the manner in which Kejriwal was ready to "sell out the interests" of Punjab for electoral gains in Haryana as well as "the abject surrender of Punjab's interests" by Mann solely to save his chair, he said: "This sell out of the state's interests by a party which was given an overwhelming majority of 92 seats is unparalleled in the history of Punjab."
Alleging that Mann has taken the prestige of the Punjab Chief Minister's post to a new low, Badal said the manner in which he had endorsed the statement of Kejriwal was shameful. "Punjabis can never imagine their elected Chief Minister signing off their river waters but Bhagwant Mann is getting ready to do just this to remain in power."
Warning Mann not to attend any meeting on the SYL with the Haryana government, the SAD President said "negotiations are done when you have something to give away".
He also argued that discussions could be held with a riparian state and that Haryana was a non-riparian state and had no right to claim a share in the river waters of Punjab.
He also detailed how Mann was weakening Punjab's position on a second core issue concerning the sentiments of its Punjabis. "Earlier Mann has been instrumental in weakening Punjab's case vis a vis Haryana by not protesting the latter's demand to get land allotted for it for a new Vidhan Sabha complex in Chandigarh."
Condemning Mann's "cowardly actions" and the manner in which he had "backstabbed" Punjabis, Badal said: "The SAD has steadfastly protected Punjab's river waters and will continue to do so. We are firm in our belief that the state does not have one drop of water to spare. We will not let one drop of water go out of the state to Haryana."
He also disclosed how former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had passed the Punjab SYL canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Property Rights) Bill 2016 to return land acquired for the canal's construction back to the original owners free of cost.
Answering media queries, Badal said this was not the first time that Kejriwal had made his intentions clear on the SYL issue.
"Earlier the Delhi CM has issued a statement saying Haryana and Delhi had an equal right over SYL waters."
He said the AAP government in Delhi had also sided with Haryana by filing similar affidavits in the Supreme Court in 2016.