Other States

Opposition slams fast by Haryana’s BJP leaders for Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal

Leaders from the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal slammed the one-day fast undertaken by BJP leaders in support of the early construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal (SYL), saying it was an attempt to divert attention from the protest against agriculture reforms.

The SYL project is a focal point of a water sharing dispute between Punjab and Haryana. BJP workers had observed a fast on Saturday in Haryana to press for water-sharing from Punjab.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda, leader of the Opposition in the Haryana Assembly, said, “The BJP wants to divert the attention from the ongoing farmers agitation.”

With regard to the SYL, the Supreme Court had already given a decision in Haryana’s favour and it was now the duty of the State and the Central governments to carry it out. “The BJP leads the government in Haryana as well as in the Centre, so who is stopping them from taking steps to start construction of the SYL canal?” Mr. Hooda asked.

“Work on the SYL canal was started in 1982 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from the Kapoori village in Punjab and most of the work was done under the Congress regime but the Punjab government started filling up the canal, as soon as the BJP government took office in Haryana,” he said.

Mr. Hooda said that Haryana’s government should go to Delhi and observe a fast to urge the BJP-led Centre to speed up the construction of SYL. “BJP is shirking its responsibility,” said Mr. Hooda.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) also took a shot at the timing of the “fast” by BJP leaders. Former Minister and senior SAD leader Daljeet Singh Cheema said “It’s a deep-rooted conspiracy to divide farmers of Punjab and Hrayana, who are jointly fighting against the Centre’s farm laws.”

“Farmers are well aware of the BJP’s ill intentions,” Mr. Cheema said, adding that farmers in Fatehabad district of Haryana had raised slogans against BJP leaders who were observing a fast. “The BJP stands completely exposed and such kind of politics will not work for them,” added Mr. Cheema.

In Narnaul, Haryana BJP president O.P. Dhankar said that Punjab should provide Haryana its legitimate share of water through the early construction of the SYL canal. “It is the right time. We should not hesitate in asking our fellow farmers from Punjab to share water through the SYL. Once farmers from Punjab accede to water sharing, then the politics played in Punjab will not affect Haryana’s share of water,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 5:16:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/opposition-slams-fast-by-haryanas-bjp-leaders-for-sutlej-yamuna-link-canal/article33379610.ece

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