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Decision on BBMB norms a frighteningly grave development: Sukhbir Singh Badal

Warns against rubbing salt into the already festering wounds of Punjabis

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) - Shiromani Akali Dal president S Sukhbir Singh Badal today described the centre’s decision to tweak the appointment norms for members of the Bhakhra Beas Management Board (BBMB) as “a frighteningly grave development fraught with serious consequences for the state of Punjab." In a statement here this afternoon, Mr Badal said, "The fact of the matter is that as per the law of the country, precedents and the prevailing practices, the control of Satluj Beas headworks belongs exclusively to Punjab as a Riparian state. But first they unconstitutionally took that control away from us and now they are shutting Punjab completely out the BBMB. This is the height of injustice against us. This is also another instance of the federal principle has been outraged repeatedly by govts at the Center. We will fight it with all the might at our disposal."

The Akali Dal president appealed to every Punjabi including the political parties to close ranks to fight for justice for the state.

He said that the decision was yet another link in the long and painful chain of political, economic and religious discrimination against Punjabis in general and the Sikhs in particular. Like every Punjabi, I have been shocked by the development. What was needed was to address the river waters question on the nationally and internationally accepted Riparian Principle. But what the Center is doing is to continue their systematic exploitation against the Riparian state - Punjab, to favour the non Riparian Haryana and Rajasthan.”

The Akali leader further said that the decision was certain to rub salt into the already festering wounds of Punjabis in general and Sikhs and other farmers in particular.

The former Deputy Chief Minister said the former Chief Minister S Parkash Singh Badal had challenged Section 78 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966 in the Supreme Court. There is no compromise on Punjab’s and Akali stand on this. The Center has no right to adjudicate on the river waters issues."

The Akali leader warned the Center that his party would not be a mute witness to this act of grave discrimination and it would have no option but to blow the bugle for an intensive fight for federalism & save our future generations from starvation.

“A frighteningly grave crisis looms on the verdant landscape of Guru sahiban, saints & seers. We will fight this threat to save Punjab from turning into a desert and our children either facing starvation or forced to abandon their homes to seek survival elsewhere," said Sukhbir Singh Badal.

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