Cong. challenges Akalis on SYL

In no mood to relent on the emotive water-sharing issue over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, the Congress on Sunday held a rally at the Khuian Sarwar village near Abohar, the tail-end of the canal in Punjab.

Attacking the ruling Akali government, Punjab Congress president Capt. Amarinder Singh dared Akali MLAs to quit the Assembly and face the Congress in the Assembly elections, which, he said, should be conducted in December itself.

“Implementation of the SYL verdict will severely hit farmers and farm labourers. Akalis had 10 years to resolve the issue and battle the case in court effectively but they failed to do anything,” he said, addressing the rally.

Capt. Singh alleged that the ruling party was only interested in the creation of Punjabi Suba to rule a Sikh-dominated region for their “vested interests.”

‘Set up new tribunal’

He reiterated his demand for the establishment of a new tribunal to assess the quantum of water availability with Punjab, saying it was essential to take further steps on sharing of river water.

The Punjab Congress president said Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal failed to clarify, even three days after the SYL verdict, whether he stood with Punjab on the issue or not. “His [Mr. Kejriwal’s] silence is deliberate as he has his eyes on the chiefministership of Punjab while also trying desperately to protect his interests in Delhi and Haryana,” he said.

Lashing out at Mr. Badal, senior Congress leader Sunil Jakhar said: “The State government allowed the SYL case to go virtually unfought in the court. The entire SYL issue was a premeditated attempt by the Akalis to divert public attention ahead of the Assembly elections.”

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