Chandigarh, 7 September(Wishav Warta): Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today said Punjab waters were non-negotiable and asked Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh not to agree to any settlement with Haryana on the issue of Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal.
In a statement here, the SAD president said holding any negotiation on this issue was akin to walking into a trap. Capt Amarinder should learn from past mistakes including accompanying then PM Indira Gandhi to inaugurate digging of the SYL canal. He should now simply declare No SYL – No Water to Haryana immediately”.
Asking the chief minister to take this step without further ado, the SAD president said the Punjab government needed to send out a clear message to Punjabi farmers that no negotiations could be held to barter away their precious river waters. “Even approaching the negotiating table would tantamount to selling away the interests of the State”, Badal said adding even discussion could not be held on this issue with Haryana.
The SAD president said the Punjab government must understand that the State’s rights over its river waters were inalienable. “Capt Amarinder Singh has already made a mistake earlier by stating he was ready to hold talks with Haryana on the SYL issue. The chief minister should know that no SYL exists on Punjab territory. Sardar Parkash Singh Badal returned the land acquired for the canal back to farmers. In such a situation when no canal exists on the ground no negotiation could be held on this issue with Haryana”, he added.
Badal said it would be best for Capt Amarinder Singh to follow the line taken by Sardar Badal who had unequivocally declared that Punjab did not have a single drop of water to give to Haryana and reiterate that there was no need of the SYL canal and that it would not be allowed to be constructed.
The Akali supremo said as far as the SAD was concerned no price was too high to safeguard the river waters of Punjab. “There cannot be any comprise on the inalienable rights of Punjab under the riparian principle. We will never allow this to happen and will oppose any such move tooth and nail”, he added.