New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal’s statement on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal has sparked another political storm in the country.

There is a dispute between Punjab and Haryana over construction of this canal for decades. During his two-day visit in Haryana, Arvind Kejriwal said that there is a shortage of water in both the states and Centre led Prime Minister Narendra Modi should find a solution.

It is clear that AAP is stuck in Punjab and Haryana on the issue of SYL. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, AAP rules in Punjab and it defended the state before elections. Secondly, now Haryana is going for poll in next two years, therefore, if AAP is inclined to contest elections in Haryana, it can’t stop asking for water.

This is said to be major reason. that Kejriwal clandestinely put the issue on the Centre. However, AAP leaders in their respective states are staking claim on water so that there is no electoral loss in both the states. In Haryana, AAP MP Sushil Gupta is making claims of bringing water from SYL canal. In Punjab, Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal categorically said that it doesn’t have a single water spare for anyone.

Did Punjab lose command?

After the statement of Kejriwal and CM Bhagwant Mann, opposition are blaming AAP of trying to weaken the rights of Punjab on the SYL issue to gain political mileage in Haryana. Earlier, during the Captain Amarinder Singh government, all agreements were canceled by enacting the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act-2004 against this canal.

Due to which Punjab refused to accept the agreement to give water to Haryana. After this, when the Akali government was formed, all the land was returned to the farmers. The SYL canal has been filled with water and now farmers are even cultivating it.

The SYL controversy since 1966

The SYL canal dispute has been going on since 1966 when Punjab and Haryana were separated. After a long dispute of 10 years, in 1976, there was talk of building the SYL canal while finalizing the sharing of water. The farmers of Punjab protested. The agreement was reached again in 1981. Former PM Indira Gandhi inaugurated the SYL at Kapuri in Patiala.

After this, the dispute exaggerated instead of stopping. The commission was formed in 1985 but the issue was not resolved. In 1990, terrorists killed engineers of the SYL Canal. After which the construction of the SYL canal stopped.

Why the issue came up for discussion now

There was a hearing on the SYL canal in the Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court, the Center said that Punjab is not cooperating. CM Bhagwant Mann did not respond to the letter sent for the meeting in April.

The Supreme Court asked the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti to mediate a meeting between Punjab and Haryana and submit a report in four weeks. The next hearing is scheduled for January 15 in this matter.

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