17/03/2015 8:04 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Manohar Lal Khattar: Committed To Construction Of Satluj-Yamuna Link

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PANIPAT, INDIA - JANUARY 22: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar waves to the crowd at launch of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme on January 22, 2015 in Panipat, India. The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign, which means Save the girl child, educate the girl child, aims to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) through a mass campaign across the country targeted at changing societal mindsets and creating awareness about the criticality of the issue. (Photo by Ravi Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

CHANDIGARH — Haryana government said it is committed to construction of Satluj-Yamuna Link and has urged the Centre to seek early hearing of Presidential Reference regarding validity of the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act of 2004, the Assembly was told today.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, replying to the debate on the Governor's address, told the Assembly that a reference in this regard has been pending for long and the state would seek for its early hearing.

"The state government has decided to file a fresh suit in the Supreme Court after taking legal advice on this matter to declare the Termination of Agreements Act passed by Punjab Assembly as null and void," Khattar said.

He said the state government was committed to bring SYL canal water and to bring state's allocated share of Ravi Beas water to the state.

Replying to the debate during the ongoing budget session of Haryana Assembly here late this evening, Khattar said in 2004, when the then Congress government led by Amarinder Singh in Punjab had brought the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act-2004 in Punjab Assembly, "the (Haryana) BJP had strongly protested against the Bill".

"At that time Congress was in power in the state as well as in the Centre. Even then the Central government did not take any step to prevent the Punjab government to pass this Act," he said in his two-hour reply.

Recalling the events that unfolded at that time, the Chief Minister said five MLAs of Haryana BJP--including Krishan Pal Gurjar, Ved Kapoor Chand and Veena Chibber submitted their resignation from the Assembly to register their protest against the Bill.

Citing example of "Congress utter neglect of the interest of the state on SYL issue", Khattar took a dig at former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was present in the House.

Khattar attacked Hooda, who recently released a book written by former Advocate General of Punjab Harbhagwan Singh.

"Harbhagwan Singh in his book had claimed that he advised the then Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to bring Punjab Termination of Agreements Act 2004 in Punjab Vidhan Sabha," Khattar told the House, adding that Hooda had gone ahead and released his book.

He said that he would never let the interest of Haryana suffer on any account be it the issue of Chandigarh or Haryana's due share of Ravi Beas water.

Under the Rajiv Longowal Accord, Chandigarh was to be transferred to Punjab, Khattar told the House.

"However, as a result of our protest against this accord also, the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab could not materialise," he said.

He reminded that several resolutions were passed in the Haryana Assembly on SYL issue in the past and sent to Central government but all went in vain and futile.

He exhorted all the members of the House to rise above "narrow politics" and fight for this cause together.