"Successive Congress governments at the Centre and in the state completely ignored the universally accepted Riparian Principle while signing water-sharing agreements and Punjab was denied its right to waters of its rivers," Badal told the gathering at a Sangat Darshan programme in Lambi assembly segment.

"Had Punjab not been sharing the water of its rivers with Rajasthan, Haryana and other states, there would have been hardly any problem of depleting ground water in our state," he added.

The Chief Minister said his party had been opposing the Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal agreement, "which robbed the state of its water from day one. We stand firm not to allow the construction of the canal at any cost".

Badal also exhorted the people to the state to take the pledge to "protect the water of the state's rivers at any cost."

The Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal is meant to carry water from Punjab's rivers to Haryana. The two states are locking horns over the issue of its completion.

In an attempt to prevent its neighbouring states from getting a share in river waters flowing through Punjab, the state assembly had last month passed a bill against the construction of the canal.

The Bill also provides for returning free of cost 3,928 acres acquired for its construction to the original landowners.

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