Punjab: Row between AAP govt, governor escalates

Asked to give details of the legislative business Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann says, "it's too much"; Governor throws rule book at him.

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Saturday, September 24, 2022, 09:06 PM IST
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Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann | PTI

Chandigarh: The war of words between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab and governor Banwarilal Purohit escalated on Saturday with the AAP objecting to the governor seeking the details of the upcoming assembly session on September 27.

The row began a few days ago after the governor cancelled his assent for it when it was earlier planned for September 22 to bring a confidence motion in the AAP government's favour. AAP had decided to convene this session in the backdrop of AAP’s allegations that the BJP was trying to topple AAP government under "Operation Lotus". The governor, however, cancelled it stating that assembly norms did not allow convening such a session.

Following this, the state cabinet decided on Thursday (Sept 22) to hold a regular session on September 27 on issues such as stubble burning and power supply. However, the governor on Friday asked the Punjab assembly secretary to give details of the legislative business to be taken up in the September 27 session.

Reacting to it, Mann Tweeted: "Governor/President consent before any session of legislature is a formality. In 75 years, no President/Governor ever asked list of Legislative business before calling session. Legislative business is decided by BAC (Business Advisory Council) speaker. Next, the Governor will ask for all speeches also be approved by him. It is too much."

According to a press release on Saturday, the governor wrote back to the chief minister: “After reading your statements in today’s newspapers, it appears to me that perhaps you are ‘too much’ angry with me. I think your legal advisors are not briefing you adequately. Perhaps your opinion about me will definitely change after reading the provisions of Article 167 and 168 of the Constitution, which I’m quoting for your ready reference:

Art 167: Duties of the Chief Minister as respects the furnishing of information to the Governor etc. It shall be the duty of the Chief Minister of each State, (a) To communicate to the Governor of the State all decisions of the council of Ministers relating to the administration of the affairs of the state and proposals for legislation; (b) To furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for; and (c) If the Governor so requires, to submit for the consideration of the council of ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a minister but which has not been considered by the council."

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