Chandigarh: The Chandigarh police on Tuesday used water cannons to disperse Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders and workers marching towards the Punjab chief minister Bhagwant’s Mann’s residence here over the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue and subsequently detained several of them.
SYL canal issue intensifies
On Monday only, the principal opposition party Congress, had held a similar protest march while BJP has already taken on ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for failing to properly represent the state on the SYL canal issue in the apex court.
Led by the SAD chief Sukhbir Badal, several other senior leaders who took part in the protest included former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, former ministers Bikram Singh Majithia, Daljit Singh Cheema and senior SAD leader Balwinder Singh Bhundar.
Police had raised barricades to prevent the Akali workers from heading towards the chief minister’s residence but when the protesters forced their way through the barricades, the police used the water cannon to disperse them. However, the police later detained party leaders including Sukhbir Badal, Majithia and Cheema and several SAD workers, and let them off only towards the evening.
Badal says want to debate Punjab issues with Mann after his challenge
Earlier at the protest site, addressing the party workers, Sukhbir Badal said they wanted to go to the residence of Mann for a debate on Punjab issues with the chief minister for which he had challenged all opposition leaders a few days back, but were stopped by the police. On the issue of SYL canal, he attacked the Mann government, claiming that the state government had recently told the Supreme Court that it wanted to build the canal but the opposition parties were not allowing it.
Sukhbir Badal also lashed out at the ruling Mann government over several issues including over the alleged deteriorating law and order and rising state’s debt. However, instead of receiving the opposition leaders, the chief minister chose to go to Madhya Pradesh with AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal, Sukhbir Badal alleged and added that the AAP was taking the same line taken by Congress – readying to give more of the state’s river water to Haryana and Rajasthan for political advantage in the upcoming assembly polls there.