Chandigarh, April 4 (PTI): Ahead of a special session of the Haryana assembly, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday asserted that Chandigarh always belonged to Punjab while his party colleague Sunil Jakhar said the “lost cause” will only create acrimony between the two states.
The Haryana government has summoned a special session of the assembly here on Tuesday, days after the Punjab assembly passed a resolution seeking immediate transfer of Chandigarh to the AAP-ruled state.
Haryana leaders have been demanding the completion of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal for getting the state’s river water share from Punjab. They have also sought the transfer of 400 Hindi-speaking villages to Haryana.
Asserting that Chandigarh belongs to Punjab and will always remain so, former Punjab Congress chief Sidhu also predicted that its next big battle with Haryana will be over river waters.
Referring to the Haryana assembly’s special session, Sidhu’s predecessor Sunil Jakhar, in a separate tweet, said the brotherhood between the people of Punjab and Haryana will be the “first casualty” of the “rising tempers” over the “lost cause” of Chandigarh.
The Union Territory of Chandigarh is the common capital of Punjab and Haryana.
Earlier in a tweet in Hindu, Sidhu said that built on 27 villages of Punjab, Chandigarh belonged to Punjab and will remain so.
“Kahin pe nigahein, kahin pe nishana,” Sidhu tweeted, suggesting that the real target for Haryana was not Chandigarh, but the river waters.
“Chandigarh is just an excuse, the target is Punjab’s river waters. Beware the next big battle is for the river waters of Punjab,” he said.
Sidhu, who lost during the recent Punjab assembly elections from Amritsar East, also tagged AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal, state Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar with his tweet.
The SYL canal issue has been a bone of contention between Punjab and Haryana for several decades.
In the past, Punjab had been demanding a reassessment of its share of the Ravi-Beas river waters while Haryana had been seeking completion of the SYL canal to get its share of 3.5 million acre-feet (MAF) of water.
The Punjab government’s move to bring a resolution in the state assembly came in the wake of the Centre’s announcement that the Central Service Rules will apply to the employees of the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
Dubbing Chandigarh as a “lost cause”, Jakhar in a tweet apprehended that the brotherhood between the people of two neighbouring state will be the “first casualty” of the “rising tempers” over it.
He also posted a picture of a short story of two fighting cats and a monkey, seeking to give a message of someone else’s gain during a quarrel between the two.
“The camaraderie, the brotherhood between people of Pb/Hry, reinforced at Singhu/Tikri borders, will be the 1st casualty of rising tempers & acrimony over the ‘lost cause’ of Chandigarh as Haryana too convenes a special session, to give a ‘befitting reply’ to Punjab. And winner is… ,” said Jakhar in a tweet.
Notably, farmers from Punjab and Haryana had camped at Singhu and Tikri borders near Delhi for more than a year to protest against the Centre’s now-repealed three farm laws.