Making a frontal attack on the state Congress leadership for playing to the gallery on the contentious issue of Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that Captain Amarinder Singh and his colleagues were trying to become martyrs by smearing blood on their finger tip by tendering resignations just before the assembly polls.Interacting with the media persons on the sidelines of the Summit on ‘Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage- States perspective’ organized by the Health and Family Welfare Department Punjab in collaboration with PGIMER and WHO, India here today at IISER, the Chief Minister dared Captain if he was really aghast with this verdict of Supreme Court then why don’t he ask his fellow Congress MPs from state to step down on this issue. He said that Captain being dubious by nature had enacted this drama just to mislead the people to better his electoral prospects. Mr. Badal said, “ Had Captain been sincere and honest he would have announced not to contest the forthcoming assembly polls rather he was pitching for President rule in the state for paving a smooth way for the completion of SYL canal in the absence of any democratically elected people’s government”. He equivocally said that the SAD-BJP alliance would oppose this anti-Punjab decision as we have absolute and legitimate right over the river waters as per universally accepted Riparian Principle.
Without mincing any words, the Chief Minister said that the wise people of the state would never allow to succeed Congress in its nefarious designs to betray the people and state for which they were known for hatching conspiracies against the interests of Punjab and its people on the interstate issues including sharing of rivers waters from day one. He said that the Congress party was solely responsible for aggravating the impending crisis beyond anyone’s imagination. However, Mr. Badal reiterated that not even a single drop of water would be spared for any state neither anyone would allowed to lay even a single brick for the construction of this canal.Recalling the conspiracy conceived by Congress to divest the state of its legitimate share in river waters, the Chief Minister held the then Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi squarely responsible for Punjab's crisis as she forced the erstwhile Congress Chief Minister of Punjab Mr. Darbara Singh into signing an agreement to give away Punjab's waters to Haryana forcing him to withdraw the Supreme Court Case filed by him to protect Punjab river water interests. Mr. Badal also held state Congress Chief Amarinder Singh responsible for inviting Mrs. Indira Gandhi to start the digging of the canal at Kapuri in his own constituency Patiala by offering her a silver spade to start the digging. He said that while Congress rejoiced the occasion, while the SAD had launched a long peaceful democratic morcha for Punjab's interests as a result of which no river waters went out of Punjab after that. “Water is the lifeline of every citizen of Punjab, especially farmers, industry and trade so as a custodian of state’s interest I am duty bound to ensure that nobody snatches it” added Mr. Badal.
Earlier addressing the summit, the Chief Minister reiterated the firm commitment of SAD-BJP alliance government to impart accessible, affordable and quality health services to the people. Laying stress on living a quality life, Mr. Badal advised the people to have simple food and exercise daily. He also advised people to regularly get their health check up done so as to ensure diagnosis of any disease at early stage. “This would help in leading a healthy and long life by every one of you”, he added.Listing the major initiatives taken by the state government to check this fatal disease, the Chief Minister said that the state government was providing free treatment to the patients suffering from fatal diseases like Cancer and Hepatitis C. He said that the state government has sanctioned an Advanced Centre for Autism Treatment & Research to come up at Mohali. Mr. Badal also said that for the first time a health insurance of Rs 50000 has been started for the people adding that very soon around 2000 medical stores would be opened across the state for providing free medicines to chronic patients across the state.On the occasion, the Chief Minister also launched Punjab Health Facility Portal and felicitated the prominent personalities.Prominent amongst other present on the occasion included Cabinet Minister Mr. Surjit Kumar Jiyani, Union Health Secretary Mr. CK Mishra, Principal Secretary Health Mrs. Vinnie Mahajan, Managing Director Punjab Health Services Mr. Hussan Lal, Secretary Medical Education and Research Mr. Vikas Pratap, Special Secretary Health and Family Welfare Mr. Vikas Garg, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Dr. S Karunaraju, Deputy Commissioner Mr. DS Mangat and Senior Superintendent of Police Mr. GS Bhullar.