Akali Dal must walk out of Modi government on waters issue: Channi

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Special session of Vidhan Sabha should be summoned to abrogate section5 of Punjab termination of agreements act
Chandigarh, April 5, 2016: The Punjab Congress Legislature Party leader Mr Chanarnjit Singh Channi today called upon Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to withdraw the Akali Dal from the Narendra Modi government rather than the state government threatening to walk out of discussion in the Supreme Court on the river waters issue.
Mr Channi said Mr Badal should at least once in his entire political career manifest his commitment to the cause as when in power, his stand had always been characterized by extreme opportunism going by what is on the record and hence he could not escape this blame. “You can’t befool all the people all the time”, he added.
Reacting to the neutral stand taken by the Modi government in the Supreme Court during hearing on Presidential Reference relating to Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004, he pointed out that Mr Badal had been blaming the Congress for discriminatory apportionment of river waters but now when his own party was part of the government at the centre, Punjab expected that he would get that ‘injustice’ undone at the political level. It was not surprising that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had ditched Punjab on this critical issue too like on others.
The CLP chief reminded Mr Badal of his promise as mentioned in his 2007 party manifesto to abrogate Section 5 of the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act and said his party would extend total support in case he summoned special session of the Vidhan Sabha for this purpose. He said this Section was the need of the hour at the time this legislation was enacted. However, despite there being no other compulsion now, it was surprising that the Chief Minister had conveniently forgotten about this promise.
In this context, he referred to Mr Badal’s statement about waters flowing to Haryana and Rajasthan and said rather than talking in vague terms, his government should bring forward the amendment to drop Section 5 that would end entitlement of these two states over Punjab river waters.
He asserted that the legislation to fill the syl was brought by SAD BJP government but the amendment to return land to the farmers back was brought by the congress party. Still the government failed to get it approved from the Hon Governor of Punjab. They intentionally gave time so that the Supreme Court stays the legislation.
Mr Channi said the Badal government should re-negotiate the river waters apportionment with Haryana and Rajasthan after abrogating Section 5 of Punjab Termination of Agreements Act rather than issuing threats in the Supreme Court as it was not purely a legal issue.

Date: 
Tuesday, April 5, 2016