The old emotive issue of sharing of river waters between Punjab and Haryana is clearly one issue that has put AAP supremo, Arvind Kejriwal on the back foot in Punjab. Ahead of elections, he had planned to release the Dalit manifesto but has decided to put that off. It is a clear message that he is unable to make his stand on the contentious issue.
When the state is barely three months away from forthcoming assembly polls, the unresolved five decades old issue has taken centerstage in Punjab politics. Otherwise vitriolic Kejriwal deliberately maintained silence after the Supreme Court verdict and now he is unable to face the people of Punjab.
Despite widespread criticism over his silence, he failed to compose even a single tweet on the issue. His stand on the contentious issue always accompanied flip-flops. This can only be attributed to the fact that it was in lieu of desperate attempt to save his government in Delhi and keep the people of his birthplace, Haryana happy.
Having no idea of the seriousness of the issue, AAP had rather tried to fish in troubled water. Earlier this year while campaigning in state, Kejriwal made a statement that Punjab didn’t have any water to spare and then retracted from his stand later while reaching Delhi. It is noteworthy that Delhi government filed an affidavit in Supreme Court in favour of formation of SYL canal.
Now ahead of elections, fearing backlash, Kejriwal has remained mum on contentious and emotive issue of SYL. On the other hand, AAP had started an indefinite dharna at Kapoori village of Patiala where former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had inaugurated the SYL project. Apparently, AAP had to call off that Dharna in wake of poor response from the farmers of the state.