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Akali Dal to oppose inter-state water dispute Bill in Rajya Sabha 

New Delhi, August 4

NDA constituent Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday decided to oppose the Inter State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill 2019, if it is moved in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The party took the decision during its core committee meeting called by party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal at his residence here. 

It was decided that the party will apprise Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Monday about the gravity of the situation and will urge them not to introduce this Bill in the Rajya Sabha in the present form.

The Lok Sabha had on Wednesday passed the Bill that seeks to streamline the adjudication of inter-state river water disputes.

A key feature of the Bill, that seeks to amend the existing 1956 Act, is the constitution of a single tribunal with different benches, and the setting up of strict timelines for adjudication. “The Shiromani Akali Dal Core Committee unanimously decided that the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill 2019 is against the interests of the people of Punjab. The meeting discussed in detail about the Bill and resolved that the passage of this Bill is a grave injustice with the people of Punjab,” said the statement. 

The party saud that the Bill would not help the aggrieved people of the state in any way but will further jeopardise the water rights of the people of Punjab, if passed in the present form.

It resolved that party has always stood for the cause of waters of Punjab and will safeguard the interests of Punjab by any means. 

The Akali Dal will not allow a single drop of water to any other state of the country as there is no surplus water with Punjab, the statement said. 

The meeting was attended by SAD leaders, including Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Jathedar Tota Singh, Prem Singh Chandumajra, Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Naresh Gujral, Daljit Singh Cheema, Janmeja Singh Sekhon and Darbara Singh Guru. 

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