The Punjab delegation led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the Haryana delegation led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar met President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday at his official residence and asked him, the custodian of the Constitution, to act on his official capacity to resolve the differences over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue after the Supreme Court's verdict favoured Haryana.
"Today we, the all party from Haryana, met the President and asked him to impellent this rule so that Haryana get its share through the SYL canal. This country has a federal structure and it runs by the Constitution. The Supreme Court bench declared that the resolution taken by the Punjab government against the SYL as void. We only want our share of water, we are not asking for Punjab's share," Khattar told media.
Meanwhile, Badal, affirmed in his stance, declared that the Central government has no role in the water disputes while stressing that Punjab's agriculture sector would be severely affected if the verdict is implemented since the Centre is heavily dependent on the state for the National Food Security Act to function.
"I am pained to say that Punjab has faced injustice politically and economically. This issue is a very serious one. The nations' food security is heavily dependent on Punjab and for that we need water. Water is a natural resource; it is not controlled by any state or central government. Punjab, a riparian state has the exclusive right over its water and other states like Rajasthan and Haryana have no claim in it. We have put forward our views in front of the President and believe that we will get justice from him," Badal said.
The apex court had on Thursday termed the law passed by Punjab in 2004 to terminate the SYL canal water sharing agreement with neighbouring states "unconstitutional".
Holding that the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, 2004, was not in conformity with the provisions of the constitution, the court answered in the negative all the four questions referred to it in a presidential reference.
A constitution bench of the court ruled that Punjab could not have taken a "unilateral" decision to terminate the agreement with Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh to share of the Ravi-Beas river waters.
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