After the Supreme Court announced its verdict on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water sharing agreement, Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh on Thursday resigned from his Lok Sabha seat while his party MLAs resigned en-masse from the state assembly, "in protest against the injustice meted out to the people of the state".
The Supreme Court held the 2004 law passed by Punjab to terminate the SYL canal water sharing agreement with neighbouring states as unconstitutional.
All the party MLAs quit their Assembly seats in wake of SYL verdict & in protest against the injustice meted out to the people of the state— Punjab Congress (@punjabpcc) November 10, 2016
Amarinder, who is also former Punjab Chief Minister, has sent his resignation to the Lok Sabha Speaker, copy of which was released to the media in Chandigarh, and has also sought a personal meeting with the Speaker next week.
The party MLAs have also sent their resignations to the Speaker, Punjab Assembly, and will meet him on Friday morning to personally hand over their papers.
In his resignation letter, Captain 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 by the apex court as a "major blow to the people of Punjab," Amarinder said in Chandigarh he had always fought for their legitimate right on this issue and continues to stand by them at this critical juncture in the state's journey.
Blaming the Akalis squarely for bringing the people of Punjab to this pitiable situation, where they faced imminent devastation due to acute water scarcity, Amarinder said Badal and his team had "failed" to defend Punjab's stand in the court, leading to such disastrous consequences for the state.
"The Akalis let down the people of Punjab on this critical issue, selling off their interests to Haryana," said Amarinder, 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," said Amarinder, declaring that the people of the state will not forgive the Akalis for playing with their lives.
The SYL Canal dispute in a nutshell
Apart from Ravi and Beas, Satluj and Yamuna are two major rivers that flow through Punjab and Haryana. The dispute is about water sharing between two states depending on agriculture, with Punjab saying it has no water to spare.
The origins of the crisis go back to 2004, when the Congress government in Punjab scrapped the water-sharing agreements with neighbouring states and refused to give any water to other states, especially to Haryana.