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States » North

Ask SC to settle riparian question first, SAD tells govt at all party meet

Chandigarh, Jan 23 (UNI) The Shiromani Akali Dal on Thursday reiterated its demand that nothing short of the Riparian Principle would be acceptable as the basis for a solution to the issue of waters of all three Punjab Rivers, the Ravi, the Satluj and the Beas. The party also demanded the deletion of the Clause 5 of the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act 2004 as according to the party, it violates the Riparian Principle.
Addressing media persons after the All Party Meeting convened by the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the SAD senior leader Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said, “SAD has made supreme sacrifices and launched major Morchas to secure Punjab’s right on the waters of its rivers on the basis of the Riparian Principle under which non-Riparian State like Rajasthan and Haryana had no right on even a single drop from the waters from the Punjab Rivers. It is unfortunate that in the past, some parties, notably the Congress opposed the SAD on the issue. But we feel vindicated that today finally, all political parties have accepted the correctness and constitutional and legal soundness of the Akali demand."
The SAD delegation comprised senior Senior Vice President, Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra and Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal.
The SAD senior Vice President expressed satisfaction over “the SAD’s success in getting the CM to agree to convene a special session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to state that no exception would be made to the Riparian Principle in the final settlement of the River Waters dispute and to consider deletion of Clause 5 from the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act.”
“We wanted the All Party meet to reject the Clause 5 of the Punjab Termination of Agreements of Act today itself as it constitutes an exception in so far as it violates the Riparian Principle and should therefore be deleted in the Special Session of the Punjab Legislative Assembly to be called for the purpose. Although the final Resolution of the All Party Meet did not include our demand for deletion of that Clause, but we were able to get the other parties to agree to consider it during the special session of the PVS. We will insist on its deletion in the special session.“
Prof Chandumajra however regretted that the Aam Aadmi Party did not support the SAD demand for the deletion of this clause. “They remained largely quiet on the issue in the meeting.”
Prof Chandumajra urged the Chief Minister to demand royalty for the waters already given from Punjab’s rivers to Haryana and Rajasthan . “They have been using our waters against all constitutional and legal norms, precedents and principles. There are strong precedents supporting Punjab’s demand for royalty from Rajasthan and Haryana.”
Prof Chandumajra said his party presented its case at the All Party Meeting through a Resolution. He said that the party feels vindicated that for the first time, the SAD has succeeded in getting the Congress party and its government to commit to the Riparian Principle as totally un-negotiable. Prof Chandumajra said that the SAD would have liked the All Party Resolution to be more comprehensive and more categorical and “the party will continue to press the Congress government to stick to the inviolability of the Riparian Principle.”
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