The standoff over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal escalated further on Thursday with MLAs of the Opposition INLD in Haryana and Congress in Punjab attempting to storm each other’s Assemblies as the
The standoff over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal escalated further on Thursday with MLAs of the Opposition INLD in Haryana and Congress in Punjab attempting to storm each other’s Assemblies as the dispute threatened to embroil Delhi whose chief minister Arvind Kejriwal opposed construction of the canal.
INLD legislators, led by Leader of the Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala and state unit president Ashok Arora, went to the Punjab Assembly, which is in session, and staged a protest at its gate against a bill passed on Monday by Punjab Assembly that provides for returning 3,928 acres of land acquired for construction of SYL canal to original landowners.
In a counter action, Congress MLAs of Punjab tried to barge into Haryana Assembly, but were stopped by the watch and ward staff.
While the protest by INLD legislators lasted for quite some time, the Punjab Congress MLAs’ action was a brief event.
A scuffle broke out between the INLD MLAs and watch and ward staff outside the Punjab Assembly. Punjab and Haryana, with common capital Chandigarh, have Assemblies in the same complex here.
After the Question Hour, INLD MLAs moved out of the Haryana Assembly and went to the Punjab legislature raising slogans against the governments in Punjab and Haryana and demanded that the “unconstitutional” bill be withdrawn.
Mr Chautala later told reporters that “we met Punjab Assembly Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal in his room in the complex and lodged our protest against the bill passed by the House.
“The passage of the bill will trigger a fresh row between the two states. We considered Punjab as our elder brother but today they have betrayed us.”
“Now the people of Haryana will have no faith in Punjab...They have ended the relationship between the two states,” he said.
He termed the situation as a “black chapter” in the history of Haryana and said his party will fight it till the end.
“If a need arises, INLD will mobilise its workers and proceed to the border with Punjab with implements to again dig up the under construction SYL canal being flattened by the people in Punjab,” Mr Chautala said.
Noting that the Haryana government has shown strong resentment over Punjab’s “unconstitutional” move on SYL canal issue, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said his government has returned the cheque for Rs 191.75 crore “in original” which Punjab had sent on Wednesday for Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal.
The Punjab Cabinet had on Tuesday decided to despatch a cheque for Rs 191.75 crore back to Haryana which had sent it towards construction of the SYL canal.
In a statement in Haryana Assembly, Mr Khattar said he had requested Punjab governor Kaptan Singh Solanki not to give assent to the bill passed by that state’s Assembly.