CHANDIGARH, April 2: Congress leaders from Punjab today warned the BJP led NDA government at the centre and the Akali-BJP government in the state against robbing Punjab of its waters. “For God’s sake please don’t open this pandora’s box as it has the potential of turning Punjab into a tinderbox”, they warned the central and state governments.
Congress Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh and Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Sunil Jakhar, besides other senior leaders and legislators, expressed strong apprehensions that the BJP had discovered certain weaknesses of the Badals, particularly the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and now it was trying to exploit these weaknesses and forcing Mr Badal to succumb to its pressures and accept its diktats.
They pointed out, the Akalis were badly cornered on the issue of their involvement in the multi-crore drug scandal and the Enforcement Directorate had already got clinching evidence. Now, in order to save their skin they were ready to reach a compromise and accept the terms and conditions about the SYL which are grossly against Punjab.
The party leaders recalled how without caring about the political consequences and risking their government they had enacted the Punjab Termination of Water Agreement Act 2004 to save Punjab’s waters. “And now Mr Badal for the obvious reasons cited above was mortgaging these interests which I will not allow at any cost”, they said.
They said that they will not be surprised if and when Mr Badal agrees to the terms and conditions of the SYL as he had already shown his weakness by going along with the BJP in supporting the anti-farmer amendments in the Land Acquisition Act in the parliament, although publicly Mr Badal had adopted a contrary posture.
They pointed out, Mr Badal had failed to get any compensation for the farmers neither about the widespread suicides and nor for the recent damage to the wheat due to unseasonal rains. “His (Mr Badal’s) sole purpose remains personal power and survival of his government even if it meant giving away Punjab’s interests in the final trade off”, they observed.
“Come what may, today we warn the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti not to fiddle with fire lest it would spiral out of everybody’s control”, they said, while warning of a mass uprising and agitation all over Punjab whose consequences shall be the responsibility of both the central and the state governments.