The BJP, which is part of the ruling coalition in Punjab and is governing Haryana, feels that the dispute between the two states over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal will be resolved soon.
The Punjab cabinet recently moved to de-notify and return the land that was acquired for the project through the “The Punjab Satluj Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill, 2016”. Haryana has urged Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor to both Haryana and Punjab, to not give his assent to the Bill.
The Haryana BJP has taken strong exception to Punjab’s move, while its sister unit in Punjab has openly declared its support to the state government.
“There is nothing very strange in that (state parties having divergent views). It happens many times with national parties which have their imprint in different states,” said Kamal Sharma, president, Punjab unit of BJP.
Sharma is confident that the issue will eventually be solved as per the satisfaction of both Punjab and Haryana. “Complex issues between nations are solved through mediation and talks. This matter concerning two states too will be solved that way,” said Sharma. He, however, did not deny that the Supreme Court too may have a role to play in finding a solution to the issue. “Only time will tell how the breakthrough will come. But it will be solved.”
He added that since the BJP was part of the government in the Centre and both states, the issue will be resolved quickly.
Senior BJP leaders of the state say that the party had no choice but to take a stand which protects the right of the state and its farmers. “Given the nature of our alliance with SAD, there is no question of a debate. The party has to stand with the farmers of the state,” said a leader.
The state BJP leadership is learnt to have briefed the national leadership on the ramifications of the dispute as well as the need to resolve the matter through talks. The Punjab leadership has also been in constant touch with their Haryana counterparts and are maintaining close watch. “We will not allow the situation to result in a slamming match. All statements being made on the issue are being closely vetted by the central leadership given the sensitivity of the issue,” informed a BJP office bearer.
Given the fact that Punjab has entered an election year, the central leadership has highlighted the need for local BJP unit to strike a fine balance between electoral compulsions in the state as well as the demands being raised in Haryana.