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Haryana Budget session to be stormy, with Jat quota bill on anvil

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Chandigarh: Haryana Assembly’s budget session starting here from Monday is likely to be stormy, with opposition set to train guns on BJP government over various issues, including the Jat quota agitation and SYL canal.

All eyes will be on a promised Bill for reservation to Jats in government jobs, as Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has maintained that there will be no tinkering with the 27 per cent reservation already given to the OBCs.

The session is likely to be fortnight long and the budget is slated to be presented on March 21, official sources said.

However, the Business Advisory Committee of the Haryana Assembly will take the final call in this regard.

The session will start with address by Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki on Monday.

Haryana had remained on the boil for nearly a fortnight last month in view of the Jat agitation, during which 30 people were killed and property worth crores of rupees was destroyed at many places by the miscreants. Both Congress and main opposition INLD drawing up strategy to take on the government on the issue.

According to Leader of Opposition and INLD senior leader Abhay Singh Chautala, they will raise the Jat issue, SYL canal issue, besides seek reply from the government on other crucial matters concerning the state’s law and order situation, farmers’ concerns and hiked power rates.

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said they have demanded setting up a judicial commission of inquiry, headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, to go into the violence during the Jat stir.

On March 5, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said that a Bill to provide reservation to Jats and four other castes will be brought in the Haryana assembly.

The contentious SYL issue is likely to generate a lot of heat in the Haryana Assembly, with neighbouring Punjab set to bring ‘The Punjab Satluj Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill, 2016’ in the Punjab Assembly during its ongoing session.

The Punjab bill seeks to give back proprietary rights to the land owners from whom 5,376 acres were acquired for the SYL canal in 1977.

The Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) is the proposed 122 kilometre-long canal which would link the Punjab Satluj basin to the Yamuna basin.

Punjab is opposed to the construction of a portion of the canal in Punjab and to the idea of sharing water with Haryana.

The canal starts near Palla village near Delhi, and was to transfer Haryana’s share of 3,500,000 acre-feet (4.3 km3) from the Indus Basin, though state of Haryana has completed its portion, Punjab is against its construction, and the state legislature passed the “Punjab Termination of Agreement Act 2004”, which declared earlier agreements null and void.

Public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the Punjab Termination of Agreements Bill 2004 has been filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

PTI

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