Chandigarh, Oct 30 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday urged Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to decide the modalities for the proposed November 1 debate as well as its agenda by holding a meeting with the representatives of all parties, even as it called for limiting the debate to the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue so the state could put up a united front to prevent the loot of its river waters.
Addressing the media here, senior SAD leaders Balwinder Singh Bhundur, Prem Singh Chandumajra and Daljit Singh Cheema maintained that it is important to finalise the modalities of the debate as to which all parties will participate in it, where it will be hosted, who all will steer it impartially and who will come out with a joint declaration on behalf of all the participants.
The leaders said that all the major political parties, including the AAP, Congress, SAD, BSP, BJP, CPI and CPI(M), should be part of the debate.
The SAD also suggested that the debate should be limited to discussing the SYL canal issue only so that a joint solution could be made to save the river waters of Punjab.
“SAD is not interested in a political slugfest, which will achieve nothing. What is needed is devising a strategy to counter the illogical order of the Supreme Court which has deferred discussion on distribution of river waters and directed that the SYL canal be completed first. We need to come up with a solution to save Punjab in such a situation,” the party leaders said in a joint statement.
The leaders also made it clear that Akali Dal is ready for a debate on all issues concerning Punjab at a later date, as they told the Chief Minister that it is not late even now to finalise the modalities of the debate on the SYL canal issue.
The leaders made it clear that if the Chief Minister doesn't respond to their proposal, SAD would seek democratic ways and means to protect the rights of Punjab on this most sensitive issue.
They said that SAD will also approach other like-minded parties as well as all sections of society in this quest.
SAD, meanwhile, also described as “extremely unfortunate” the manner in which the Chief Minister is trying to divert attention from the debate by alluding that SAD is afraid of participating in a debate with the ruling party.
The leaders also asserted that the Chief Minister should have called an all-party meeting immediately after the Supreme Court verdict on the SYL canal issue.
They said it is unfortunate that no joint resolution was made during the recent Vidhan Sabha session to project the sentiments of Punjabis on this issue before the world.