Will defy court order on SYL canal: Badal
CHANDIGARH, FEB. 2. Taking a tough line on the Sutlej-Yamuna canal issue, the Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president, Parkash Singh Badal, today said they would defy the Supreme Court direction for completion of the canal in one year and were even ready to face contempt of court proceedings.
Talking to presspersons after releasing the party's manifesto for the February 13 Assembly elections, Mr. Badal said, ``we will defy the Supreme Court decision if need be and will not go a step forward towards completion of the canal''.
Asked what would be the course of action if the Supreme Court initiated contempt of court proceedings, he said, ``we are ready for that also. Maximum they can do is send us to jail for which we are prepared''. Even if the review petition to be filed soon was rejected, the canal would not be completed, he added.
He said the Akalis had been struggling for three issues, transfer of Chandigarh, transfer of the Punjabi-speaking areas and water sharing with Haryana.
To a question, he said the Congress had complicated the issues to such an extent that he in Punjab, Om Prakash Chautala in Haryana and Atal Behari Vajpayee at the Centre had not been able to resolve these inter-State issues.
Mr. Badal said the ``anti-Punjab policies'' of Congress resulted in the State not getting Chandigarh at the time of reorganisation even though it was the parent State and not getting its share of water on the riparian principles. ``Chandigarh is complicated in the way Kashmir has been complicated in Indo-Pak. relations'', Mr. Badal said. The Akalis had launched the ``Dharam Yudh Morcha'' to oppose the ``injustice'' done to Punjab at the hands of the Congress.
The manifesto promised top priority to ``peace, Punjabi unity and communal harmony'' and assured justice to the victims of the 1984 massacre.
It also promised various welfare schemes - farming, employment generation, power, development of backward classes and Dalits, border areas development, promotion of education, trade and industry - in the State.
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