Ruchika M. Khanna
Chandigarh, September 25
The deadlock over convening the Punjab Assembly ended on Sunday, with Governor Banwarilal Purohit agreeing to call the third session of the Vidhan Sabha at 11 am on September 27.
A letter from the Governor says that “in exercise of powers conferred upon him by virtue of Clause (1) of Article 174 of Constitution of India, he is summoning the session on September 27 at 11 am”. With this, the cloud over the holding of the session ends.
The ruling party AAP chose Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan to make the announcement, although his announcement about the session being convened was quite toned down as compared to the high pitch of the AAP protest against the Governor Purohit in the past four days.
The Hon. Governor, Punjab, has very kindly acceded to our request and summoned the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to meet for it's third session on 27.9.2022 at 11.00 AM at Chandigarh— Kultar Singh Sandhwan (@Sandhwan) September 25, 2022
Sources in the government say that after the Governor was reportedly satisfied with the reply to his letter, seeking details of the legislative business to be taken up in the House, he agreed to summon the session.
Officials in Punjab Governor’s Office and Chief Minister’s Office had reportedly held several parleys before they brought down the tempers on each side, leading to the state government sending details of the business, and the Governor ultimately granting permission. Though the state government has said that it wants to discuss issues of Goods and Services Tax, power situation and stubble-burning, it is still not clear if the government will bring in a confidence motion, or simply discuss the issue of an alleged covert operation by the BJP, which the AAP Government claims has been rolled out to topple their six-month-old government.
It may be mentioned that the Punjab Government had initially planned to hold a Special Session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on September 22. The Governor had initially allowed the session but later withdrawn his assent, saying that legally the session cannot be called only to bring in a confidence motion.
The AAP had protested against the move, saying it was undemocratic and had even threatened to move the Supreme Court. After the government recalled the session on Thursday, the Governor sought to know the legislative business that was to be conducted in the House. This too was initially objected to by the government, with the CM Bhagwant Mann reacting by saying “it’s too much”. The Governor had then sent a letter citing constitutional provisions that validated his asking of the reasons for holding the session.
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