Punjab Governor & Chandigarh Administrator Banwarilal Purohit Resigns After Action-Packed Stint, Cites Personal Reasons

Punjab Governor & Chandigarh Administrator Banwarilal Purohit Resigns After Action-Packed Stint, Cites Personal Reasons

Purohit's resignation, conspicuously enough, comes a day after he met Union home minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Friday. Also, it was days after the BJP had won the Chandigarh mayoral polls.

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Saturday, February 03, 2024, 07:46 PM IST
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Banwarilal Purohit | IANS

Chandigarh: In a surprise development, Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit on Saturday resigned from the post, while also stepping down as the administrator of the Union Territory (UT) of Chandigarh, the common capital of Punjab and Haryana.

His short resignation letter sent to President Droupadi Murmu, read: "Due to my personal reasons and certain other commitments, I tender my resignation from the post of the Governor of Punjab and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh. Please accept the same and oblige".

Purohit's resignation, conspicuously enough, comes a day after he met Union home minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Friday. Also, it was days after the BJP had won the Chandigarh mayoral polls in which 8 of the 36 votes were declared invalid amid the cries of "rigging" by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-Congress alliance which claimed a clear majority (20 votes) over BJP’s 16, following which the former had moved the apex court.

Purohit, 83, who had been an MP thrice, twice as Congress’ and once as BJP member, from Nagpur (Maharashtra), had remained governor of Assam and Tamil Nadu, before he took the charge of Punjab governor and Chandigarh administrator on August 31, 2021.

An Action-Packed Stint

Purohit’s "action-packed" stint was marked by his repeated run-ins with the chief minister Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government resulting in the two top constitutional functionaries shooting off letters and sniping at each other over several contentious issues including legality of the House ``sittings’’, fiscal prudence, steps taken against the drug menace, appointment of vice-chancellors, besides others.

On the issue of the ``special assembly sittings’’, Purohit had termed multiple sittings of the Vidhan Sabha as ``illegal’’ and withheld several important Bills last year. Mann government had moved the apex court while the AAP leaders reacted sharply against the issues raised by Purohit pointedly accusing him of acting at the behest of BJP and conspiring against the state government.

The top court, however, asked both Purohit and Mann to discharge their duties under the Constitution and counselled them to uphold the constitutional protocols. Subsequently, Purohit had given his approval to the Bills.

Frugal, Discipled Lifestyle

However, Purohit also came to be known for his frugal and disciplined life-style who rolled out multiple austerity measures at the Raj Bhawan and in the Chandigarh administration.

While he himself opted for train travel over flights, he asked the officials not to travel by air and stay in luxury hotels during their tours to Delhi - just about a three to four hours journey by road. Other measures introduced by him included only vegetarian food at Raj Bhawan while he also put a stop to the use of bottled water and bouquets to check wasteful expenditure.

Also, unlike his predecessors, Purohit frequently ventured out in the fields and made regular visits to the districts bordering Pakistan holding meetings with officials as well as villagers. He also led the state government to form village bodies to check drugs and terror threats.

Among the big-ticket projects, Purohit had instantly asked Chandigarh Housing Board not to pursue a major housing scheme in IT Park area after environmental issues were raised about it and had also axed another Chandigarh administration’s "green corridor" project after complaints were received against it.

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