“Their Ancestors…”: B Mann Slams Opposition Amid Sutlej Yamuna Canal Row

Bhagwant Mann said the opposition leaders should not forget the “sins” of their ancestors (File)


Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Wednesday hit back at opposition leaders for questioning his government on the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue, and alleged their “ancestors sowed thorns” for the state by indulging in the “unpardonable crime” of constructing the canal.

Bhagwant Mann slammed Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal, state Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring and Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Partap Singh Bajwa, accusing them of indulging in theatrics to mislead people on the contentious issue.

The opposition leaders have been attacking the Mann government over the SYL issue, accusing the AAP dispensation of failing to safeguard the state’s interest.

Their criticism came following a Supreme Court directive on October 4, asking the Centre to conduct a survey of land in Punjab that was allocated for the construction of the canal’s portion in the state and make an estimate of the extent of work carried out.

The Congress, BJP and SAD have held protests over the past few days, slamming the Mann dispensation over the river water sharing issue.

In a statement, Bhagwant Mann said the opposition leaders should not forget the “sins” of their ancestors and “shed crocodile tears” over the vexed issue.

“It is a well-known fact that the ancestors of these leaders sowed thorns for Punjab and its younger generations by indulging in this unpardonable crime of constructing the SYL,” Bhagwant Mann alleged.

“For the sake of their vested interests, these selfish political leaders had agreed, planned and executed the construction of this canal,” he further alleged.

Bhagwant Mann said everyone knows that former Union minister late Balram Jakhar (father of Sunil Jakhar) and former Congress leader Amarinder Singh, who is now with the BJP, accompanied then prime minister Indira Gandhi to the ground-breaking ceremony of the SYL canal at Kapuri in Patiala.

Former Haryana Chief Minister Devi Lal had hailed his then Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal for allowing the survey of this canal.

Earlier in the day, in a post on X, Bhagwant Mann said, “Balram Jakhar stood with Captain (Amarinder Singh) in a photo of silver spade (a picture taken during the ground-breaking ceremony for the SYL canal in Punjab) Devi Lal (former Haryana chief minister) praised in Haryana Vidhan Sabha Parkash Singh Badal (former Punjab CM) for giving nod to carry out a survey for SYL.” Mann alleged the hands of these leaders are “drenched in this crime” against the state and history will never forgive them for “back-stabbing” Punjab.

He asked the opposition party leaders to come for an open debate on November 1 and also “bring along with them papers of settlement which their parents had signed for the sake the chair by deceiving the state and its people”.

“This will give a clear picture to the residents of the state as to how they were betrayed in the name of making sacrifices,” he said.

Bhagwant Mann said opposition leaders should not worry about river water as he, as a child, used to guard a water course in his village. “Today, the God has assigned me the task of protecting the Sutlej.” The CM the state has no water to spare with any other state.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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