Punjabis will never compromise on their right to Chandigarh: Majithia
Gurdaspur: Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia on Thursday said Punjabis would never compromise on giving up their right to Chandigarh or their River waters and asked union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat not to make statements which could lead to spoiling the atmosphere in the State.
Replying to media queries after participating in the Chinj mela organized by senior SAD leader Gurbachan Singh Babehali, Mr. Bikram Majithia said “utterances like the ones made by Mr. Shekhawat can have grave overtones. Similar statements have earlier destroyed the peace and led the State into an era of darkness and strife”.
Asserting that Punjab was the only State which did not get its own capital after its Reorganization in 1966, Mr. Majithia said “we were assured that Chandigarh will be transferred to us. The Rajiv – Longowal accord also accorded Chandigarh to Punjab and this was ratified by both houses of parliament as well as the Vidhan Sabhas of Punjab and Haryana. Despite such solemn promises we are being denied our right to Chandigarh”.
The former minister also reminded Mr. Shekhawat that Chandigarh was built after uprooting villages of Kharar Tehsil. He said Kharar tehsil was adjudicated to belong to Punjab and is an integral part of the State even now. “When Punjab has an inalienable right to Chandigarh, how can the union minister open a Pandora’s box by asserting that a new method should be used to adjudge its status?”
Asserting that this was wrong and an unjust move, Mr. Majithia also questioned the propriety of Mr. Shekhawat’s statement asserting that Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan had an equal right over the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB). The SAD leader said this contention was both historically and factually incorrect as only Punjab and Himachal Pradesh had the right over the waters of the Beas River as neither Haryana nor Rajasthan were riparian States.
Mr. Majithia said Punjab’s predominant right over management of the Bhakra dam had also been recognized by giving it a 60 per share in posting of all employees in the Management Board. “Mr. Shekhawat’s new claim of Rajasthan having an equal share in the BBMB is bereft of logic and will only spread further discord”, the Akali leader said while asserting that regional politics should not be brought into the issue while referring to Mr. Shekhawat’s antecedents in Rajasthan.
Asserting that Chandigarh should be handed over to Punjab, Mr. Majithia also demanded that all transgressions done to undermine Punjab’s right to Chandigarh including imposition of central government rules on employees, diluting the 60 per cent share of Punjab in government posts and creation of UT cadre should be undone.
Answering a media query, Mr. Majithia said the vandalism of a church in Tarn Taran was the direct result of the AAP government’s failure to maintain law and order. “Such a thing has never happened earlier”, he said while asserting that Sikhism always spoke about the welfare of all. (UNI)