With Punjab increasing river water supply to Rajasthan by 500 cusecs, the Shiromani Akali Dal said it would stage a protest in Abohar on Wednesday against Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s “surrender on river waters”.
Party President Sukhbir Badal will lead the protest that will begin at 11 a.m.
Badal made this announcement at the party headquarters here on Tuesday. He was reacting to questions by mediapersons on reports that the Chief Minister had committed to increase river water supply from Punjab to Rajasthan from the present 700 cusecs to 1,200 cusecs.
The reports quoted Rajasthan leader Hanuman Beniwal claiming that a commitment to this effect had been made by Mann during their meeting at Bathinda on Sunday.
Badal said that the Akali Dal, as the guardian of the interests of Punjab, would not remain a mute witness to AAP government’s surrender and loot of Punjab’s river waters through “a secret and arbitrary sell out” to Rajasthan.
“We asked the Punjab CM to clarify his position on the reports but although more than a day has passed since the reports appeared, he still chooses to hide behind silence in order to quietly go ahead with the surrender. We won’t allow this to happen,” he said.
Badal said this latest “surrender” by the AAP government was merely a continuation of a long history of betrayals of Punjab’s and Panth’s vital interests on every religious, economic, territorial and river waters issues.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejrival has always led in this loot of Punjab’s river waters to both Haryana and Delhi and Mann has always quietly and meekly acquiesced in this loot, he alleged.
“Clearly under instructions from his boss Kejriwal, Bhagwant Mann has now agreed to sign away more river water to Rajasthan, dealing a death blow to the already beleaguered farmers of Punjab and to the overall economy of the state.
“Mann had earlier virtually surrendered Punjab’s legitimate claim on Chandigarh by begging for space in its own capital to set up a separate legislative assembly instead of asking Haryana to shift out of here, Badal added.