Wednesday, January 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Punjab to move Supreme Court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said today that his government was fully prepared to file two petitions in the Supreme Court. Reports appearing in the media contrary to it were nothing but a fit of imagination, he added.

“We have engaged a panel of top legal experts in Delhi. They are already in the job and the petitions are expected to be filed any time. But it has been left to the experts to decide the date to move the court in this regard”, he added.

Talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a conference on economic reforms here, Capt Amarinder Singh said he had written a letter to his Haryana counterpart, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to sit together to discuss the SYL canal issue. “But I have read in newspapers that Mr Chautala is not interested in holding any meeting. It shows Mr Chautala’s attitude towards the issue”, said Capt Amarinder Singh, adding that he had not received any letter from Mr Chautala yet.

He reiterated that Punjab had no surplus water to spare for Haryana.

Talking about Chandigarh, Capt Amarinder Singh, said the city should be transferred to Punjab at the earliest. Asked whether he would again request to the Prime Minister to intervene on the SYL canal issue, he said he had brought the facts to the notice of the Prime Minister.


Chandigarh, SYL ‘not linked’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 7
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, has asked his counterpart in Punjab not to relate the issue of transfer of Chandigarh with the Satluj- Yamuna Link Canal.

He was talking to media persons after inaugurating the building of Haryana Police Housing Corporation constructed at a cost of Rs 2.08 crore here this morning. Making his stand clear on the issue of transfer of Chandigarh, he said that these inter- state matters would be resolved on the basis of the Indira Award.

The Chief Minister made it clear that he would not compromise on the issue of Chandigarh as according to the Indira Award Haryana was awarded 105 Hindi speaking villages, two towns of Abohar and Fazilka, which are a part of Punjab, and the entire cost of construction of a new capital for the State.

Criticising Capt Amarinder Singh for linking the issue of Chandigarh with SYL , Mr. Chautala said that he ( Capt Amarinder Singh) had been doing so to mislead the Supreme Court, the people of Punjab and termed it as an act to remain in power. He, however, added that Haryana would wait till January 14, the date set by the Apex Court for Punjab to construct and complete the canal.

In case, Punjab did not take effective steps for completion of the canal, Haryana would approach the Central Government to complete the canal, as directed by the Supreme Court, he said. He added that in case of the Central Government not complying with the verdict of the Supreme Court, the state government would lodge a strong protest with the President, Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

Ridiculing the state unit of the Congress for not responding to the government’s call for putting up a joint front to decide on the SYL issue, he said that the Haryana Pradesh Congress Party should stage a ‘dharna’ in front of the residence of Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, rather than in front of the residence of the Prime Minister.

Mr Chautala said that had the Congress chosen to stage a ‘dharna’ in front of the residence of the Punjab Chief Minister and invited him to join them, he would have also participated in the dharna, to press for an early completion of the remaining portion of the SYL canal in Punjab.

In reply to a question on the all party meeting convened by him on January 14 to discuss the future course of action in view of non-completion of the SYL canal by the Punjab Government, Mr Chautala said that he would abide by decision taken by various parties at the all party meeting.

Describing the SYL as the lifeline of Haryana he said that a decision regarding the future course of action would be taken in consultation with other parties and in the larger interest of the State.


SAD to boycott, SHSAD to attend
Tribune News Service

Alamgir, January 7
The Political Affairs Committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today decided to boycott the all-party meeting called by the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, tomorrow, terming it a “farce”. The party will oppose any attempt to dilute the state’s case or rob it of its legitimate riparian rights.

The PAC meeting was held at the gurdwara at Alamgir here today and was presided over by SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal. Mr Badal will also meet the Prime Minister tomorrow between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

It outrightly rejected the suggestions made in the recent utterances of the Chief Minister in which he had sought to link Punjab’s rights over the river water with the question of transfer of Chandigarh. Mr Badal said SAD would not allow even a single drop of water to flow to Haryana or any other state.

He said the all-party meeting called by the Chief Minister was just an eyewash.

Mr Badal said the exercise of calling the meeting appears merely a ploy to cover up government’s incompetence.

TNS adds from New Delhi: The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal has decided to take part in the all-party meeting convened by the Punjab Chief Minister to discuss the SYL canal issue.

“The top leaders of the SHSAD met in the Capital on Monday and decided to take part in the meeting after the Punjab Chief Minister clarified his stand on the SYL and Chandigarh issues,” party general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra told The Tribune here on Tuesday.

He said the party also appealed to the rival Shiromani Akali Dal to attend the meeting.


Punjab BJP leaders to meet PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Taking a firm stand on the SYL canal issue, the Punjab BJP said today that the state had no water to spare for any other state. Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, President of the Punjab BJP, said that he along with other leaders of the party would meet the Prime Minister on the SYL canal issue.

It was almost clear from Mr Rinwa’s tone that his party would not attend the all-party meeting called by the Punjab Chief Minister tomorrow Mr Rinwa said Capt Amarinder Singh was habitual of calling such meetings when the “ situation goes beyond control”. Why did Capt Amarinder Singh not file petitions in the apex court or called an all- party meeting earlier ? he asked. Capt Amarinder Singh, he said, had always tried to hold others responsible for his own failures.

The SAD and the BJP had identical stands on the canal issue and there was no difference of opinion between the two.

Dr Joginder Dayal, Secretary of the Punjab CPI, said that his party would take part in the all-party meeting.

He said the Prime Minister should intervene and call a meeting of the Chief Ministers and political parties of both states to find a solution to the problem.

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