Chandigarh June 27:
An all-party meeting convened by the SAD-BJP Government on Saturday to formulate a common stand on the Punjab Termination of River Waters Agreement Act 2004 decided to call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to safeguard the interests of Punjab with regard to the sharing of river waters flowing through the State.
The meeting was presided over by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and attended by SAD president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Punjab BJP unit president Ashwani Sharma, Industries Minister Manoranjan Kalia, Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and veteran BJP leader Balramji Dass Tandon, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Congress Legislature Party leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, and CPI leader Bhupinder Sambhar.
After the meeting, CM Badal told the mediapersons that a consensus was taken during the meeting with regard to the defense of the Waters Act enacted by the previous Congress-led State Government headed by former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. It says that all previous water sharing agreements with Haryana and Rajasthan should be annulled. The issue is now pending before the Supreme Court following a Presidential Reference and is due for hearing on July 13 this year.
However, the Congress leaders struck a different note on the issue saying that they were yet to make up their mind on approaching the Prime Minister. Kaypee and Bhattal told the mediapersons that while the Congress stood by Captain Amarinder's decision to terminate all previous agreements with Haryana and Rajasthan, the party would finalise the stand on meeting Prime Minister Singh only after the Supreme Court hearing.
The issue of water royalty on river waters as demanded by Chief Minister Badal did not come up for discussion at the meeting at all. Media Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister, Harcharan Bains said that although the Congress leaders attended the meeting, Kaypee ambled out of the meeting while glued to his mobile phone.