Row over Punjab budget session ends, assembly session on March 3

Row over Punjab budget session ends, assembly session on March 3

A stand-off between state govt, Guv had ensued after the latter recently termed CM Mann’s letter, tweet derogatory and held he would take decision on the sessionafter taking legal advice

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Tuesday, February 28, 2023, 11:15 PM IST
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Row over Punjab budget session ends, assembly session on March 3 | Photo: PTI

Chandigarh: The stand-off between the Punjab governor and state government over the issue of summoning of the budget session ended on Tuesday with the former convening the assembly session on March 3.

The information regarding the summoning of the budget session was given by governor Banwarilal Purohit’s counsel Tushar Mehta during the hearing in the top court on Punjab's plea on the issue amid a face-off between the governor and the state government.

Clash between Purohit & Mann

While Purohit had on February 23 told chief minister Bhagwant Mann that he would decide on summoning the state budget session only after taking legal advice on the former’s “unconstitutional and derogatory” tweet and letter, the Punjab government had held that the governor was hijacking the constitution. 

Representing the governor, solicitor general Tushar Mehta, told the apex court that the Punjab government’s plea did not survive in view of the governor’s decision to summon the budget session on March 3.

A war of words had erupted about a week ago when Purohit told Mann that he would decide on summoning the state assembly for the budget session only after taking legal advice on his (Mann’s) “unconstitutional and derogatory” tweet and letter in response to issues raised by him (Purohit) regarding the AAP government’s recent decisions. The governor’s letter to Mann was in response to his position on the state Cabinet’s decision regarding the summoning of the house of the legislature of the state on March 3. 

Earlier, the governor had, in a letter to Mann on February 13, raised questions about the selection of school principals for a training trip to Singapore, saying he received complaints of “malpractices and illegalities” in this regard. Besides questioning the appointment of Guninderjit Singh Jawandha as the Punjab Information and Communication Technology (Punjab Infotech) chairman as his name figured in a kidnapping and property grabbing case, he had also looked askance at the promotion and posting of IPS officer Kuldeep Singh Chahal as the Jalandhar police commissioner and non-disbursal of scholarships to 2 lakh SC students.

Purohit: Mann “never cared to reply” to my letters

Claiming that Mann “never cared to reply” to his letters in the past and treated all his queries with contempt, Purohit told the CM that people elected him (Mann) for running the administration as per the Constitution and not according to his “whims and fancies”.

Responding to it, Mann had taken to Twitter to tell the governor that he and his government are accountable to 3-crore Punjabis according to the Constitution and not to any governor appointed by the Central government. In his written reply on February 14, the CM questioned the criteria adopted for appointing governors. 

AAP hails DC Fiat

Meanwhile, the Punjab AAP chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang expressed gratitude to the SC for approving the session and said that the Punjab governor had denied his consent after bypassing the constitutional rules.

Asking the governor not to turn Governor House into a political house of BJP, Kang said that he should rather cooperate with the Mann government for inclusive development of Punjab. 

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