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Haryana assembly trying to obfuscate issue of transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab with resolutions -SAD

Says Haryana assembly should have acted responsibly and recognized the injustice meted out to Punjab besides urging centre to allocate funds for a new capital)

(Dr Daljit Cheema says all three issues taken up in resolution including transfer of Chandigarh to Haryana, SYL canal and transfer of Hindi speaking areas had been settled and Haryana should not play to the galleries and create ill will between both States)

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said it was unfortunate that the Haryana legislative assembly was trying to obfuscate the issue of transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab by passing resolutions instead of demanding a separate capital for the State.

Reacting to the resolution passed by the Haryana assembly in which it asserted its right over Chandigarh, Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal and transfer of Hindi speaking areas from Punjab, senior SAD leader Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said “all these issues have already been settled. Raking them now will only result in ill will between Punjab and Haryana. The Haryana assembly should have acted responsibly and put the injustice meted out to Punjab on record on these issues besides urging the centre to allocate funds if needed for establishment of a new capital. Doing anything else amounts to playing to the galleries”.

Speaking about the issue of transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab, Dr Cheema said “it is a universally accepted norm that the parent State retains the capital. This was also accepted during the reorganization of the States in 1966. Chandigarh was retained as the capital of Punjab and Haryana only as an ad-hoc arrangement. This was reiterated by the Rajiv-Longowal accord which even laid down a deadline of January 26, 1986 for transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab. The same was even ratified in parliament so there can be no ambiguity on this issue at all”.

Speaking about the issue of SYL canal, Dr Cheema said the first discrimination against Punjab was done in 1955 when a larger share of Ravi-Beas waters were allocated to non-riparian States by the then Congress government. He said after the Reorganization of Punjab in 1966 a provision was made for distribution of river waters which was challenged by the SAD government in 1979 but when the Congress government came into being it agreed under central pressure to implement the SYL canal in a time bound manner besides withdrawing all suits in 1981.

Dr Cheema said Punjab had been consistently asserting that only it had rights over its river waters as per the riparian principle. “Besides this there is a change in water availability and we don’t even have one drop of water to spare. Moreover there is no land for construction of the SYL canal as the same has been handed back to the farmers by the erstwhile SAD led government”.

Speaking about Haryana’s demand for transfer of Hindi speaking areas of Punjab to the State, Dr Cheema said repeated Commissions including the Desai Commission and the Venkatramaih Commission could not find any contagious Hindi speaking area for transfer from Punjab to Haryana. “It is also a recorded fact that after failing to find any contagious Hindi speaking area for transfer to Haryana the Venkatramaih Commission went out of terms of reference”.

Urging that attempts should not be made to obfuscate Punjab’s rights over Chandigarh with such resolutions, Dr Cheema urged the union government to order a probe into circumvention of rules to dilute Punjab’s stakes in Chandigarh including formation of a separate union territory cadre. “The home ministry should order a probe into this and take action against those responsible for creating this cadre besides reverting to the earlier system of taking 60 per cent employees on deputation for all posts in Chandigarh till such a time that the union territory is not transferred to Punjab”.