Chandigarh: Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday resigned as Lok Sabha MP, minutes after the Supreme Court announced its verdict on the controversial and long-pending Sutlej Yamuna Link issue. All Congress MLAs also quit their Punjab Assembly seats, in protest against the ‘injustice meted out’ to the people of the state.
Amarinder has sent his resignation to the Lok Sabha Speaker and has also sought a personal meeting next week. The party MLAs has sent their resignations to the Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, and will meet him tomorrow morning to personally hand over their papers.
In his resignation, Amarinder said he had decided to quit as member of the 16th Lok Sabha from Amritsar constituency in Punjab with immediate effect “as a mark of protest against the deprivation of the people of my state of the much-needed Sutlej river water.”
Describing the SYL judgement as a “major blow to the people of Punjab,” Amarinder said he had always fought for their legitimate right on this issue and continues to stand by them at this critical juncture.
Blaming the Akalis squarely for ‘the acute water scarcity’ in Punjab, Amarinder said chief minister Badal and his team has failed to defend Punjab’s stand in the court.
“The Akalis let down the people of Punjab on this critical issue, selling off their interests to Haryana,” Amarinder said, accusing the Badal government of promoting its vested political interests at the cost of the interests of the state.
“Badal has done to Punjab what even its worst enemy could not have done. He has plunged Punjab into a state of total despair,” he said.
The Akali government, the Punjab Congress chief said, had gone all out to scuttle every move of the Congress to bring relief to Punjab in the SYL matter. The former Punjab chief minister claimed that his government had tried to protect the state’s interests through the Punjab Termination of Agreements Bill, 2004.
Amarinder said, the ‘preposterous’ idea floated by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to seek royalty from other states using Sutlej water would be even more detrimental to the interests of Punjab, since the state was itself using water from neighbouring Himachal Pradesh.
“After helping out Haryana, it seems Badal is now trying to help Himachal Pradesh, by suggesting that it should demand royalty from Punjab,” Amarinder said.