M A I N   N E W S

Capt warned again
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was issued yet another warning by the Congress. Upset over his public utterances, the party today asked him to refrain from making any “uncalled” for comments on the SYL issue as it is now before the Supreme Court.

After the strong statements of Defence Minister and Punjab incharge Pranab Mukherjee and AICC General Secretary Janardhan Diwedi, it was party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi’s turn to tick off the defiant Chief Minister. Mr Mukherjee is likely to visit Punjab shortly to continue his discussions with Capt Amarinder Singh about his handling of the inter-state water sharing accords.

In a suo motu statement at the daily press briefing, Mr Singhvi pointed out that there was no need for any public declarations on the SYL issue it is before the Supreme Court and the matter is subjudice. Mr Singhvi did not name the Punjab Chief Minister but the reference to him was quite obvious.

Capt Amarinder Singh, who had already drawn flak from the Central Congress leadership for the unilateral abrogation of water-sharing accords, is now under fire for his subsequent public statements justifying his decision. The Chief Minister has, on several occasions, even warned that Punjab could witness a revival of terrorism in case the Supreme Court verdict went against the state.

Stating that natural resources like water and minerals were common to all in a federal set-up, Mr Singhvi said different states could have different views on this but it was also necessary to have a national perspective. Referring specifically to the SYL issue, which came up for hearing before the Supreme Court today, Mr Singhvi said everybody should now await the court verdict.

Mr Singhvi, however, avoided any direct answer when asked if he was referring specifically to Capt Amarinder Singh. He said he was not mentioning any names but felt it was obligatory on everybody’s part, irrespective of the position they hold, to conduct themselves properly on a sub judice matter. “Interference in a court case is uncalled for,” he said pointedly.

Congress sources said Capt Amarinder Singh’s attitude is being viewed as nothing but open defiance and an attempt to hold the Centre to ransom by constantly raising the bogey of terrorism. The party had hoped the mater would settle down once the issue was referred to the Supreme Court. But Capt Amarinder Singh’s insistence on keeping the matter alive has clearly angered the party leadership. This is more so in view of its adverse impact in the neighbouring election-bound state of Haryana.


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