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Bhagwant Mann organizing sham debate on Nov 1 to divide Pbis on orders of Arvind Kejriwal – SAD

Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said chief minister Bhagwant Mann was organizing a sham debate on November 1 to divide Punjabis on the orders of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Convener Arvind Kejriwal and that the party would not be part of this anti-Punjab exercise.

In a statement here, senior SAD leader Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said “we have learnt that central survey teams are expected to come to Punjab on November 1. Our focus will be on ensuring these teams do not conduct any survey on Punjab soil. Accordingly we will be protest against any attempt to conduct a survey to facilitate construction of the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal to transfer the State’s waters to Haryana both at the starting point of the canal at Loondh Khad near Kiratpur and at its end point in Kapuri village in Patiala district”.

The SAD leader said Bhagwant Mann was set to betray Punjab’s interests in the same manner as former chief minister Darbara Singh who had succumbed to pressure from Indira Gandhi and agreed to transfer Punjab’s waters to Haryana besides agreeing to the construction of the SYL canal. “This time Bhagwant Mann is following the directions of Arvind Kejriwal and is bent on creating conditions for the transfer of Punjab’s waters to Haryana. The debate being held on November 1 at PAU, Ludhiana is being held solely to divide the political parties of Punjab and create acrimony amongst them so that Punjabis cannot unite against the conspiracy to part them with their river waters”.

Prof Chandumajra said the very fact that the chief minister had announced to hold a debate on SYL one month after his government compromised the State’s interest on this issue in the Supreme Court, proved that he did not have any intention to safeguard the river waters. He said if the chief minister had been interested in a resolution which safeguarded Punjab’s interests he would have called an all party meeting to present a united front before the Supreme Court hearing. “Instead of doing this, the AAP government tried to vilify the opposition and particularly the SAD for opposing the construction of the SYL besides returning the land on which the SYL stood back to farmers. It even sacked the Advocate General on the very date of the hearing to ensure the case was not argued properly in the apex court”.

The SAD leader said the chief minister had also run away from answering the double standards of his party vis a vis the SYL canal on October 10 when SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had sought to discuss the issue threadbare with him. “We wanted to ask the chief minister why his government compromised the State’s interests in the Supreme Court and why he was facilitating press conferences of the Haryana AAP unit in ministerial bungalows attached with him in which Haryana representatives of his party demanded the immediate construction of the SYL and release of water to the State”. He said the chief minister had earlier also refused to object to Haryana AAP President Sushil Gupta’s poll guarantee that SYL waters would flow into each and every corner of the State in case AAP formed the government in Haryana in 2024.

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