Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit withdraws assent for special Assembly session : The Tribune India

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit withdraws assent for special Assembly session

Partap Singh Bajwa, Sukhpal Singh Khaira & Ashwani Sharma had moved Raj Bhavan

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit withdraws assent for special Assembly session

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit today withdrew his assent to the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government to summon a special Assembly session on Thursday to bring a confidence motion.

Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, September 21

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit today withdrew his assent to the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government to summon a special Assembly session on Thursday to bring a confidence motion.

Democracy in danger

The Governor not allowing the Assembly to run raises a question mark on the democratic setup. Bhagwant Mann, Punjab CM

The Governor had last night given his approval for the one-day session, called by the ruling AAP to prove its majority in the House amid allegations that the BJP was trying to topple its government.

A letter from the Governor’s office stated that the permission was withdrawn after legal opinion was sought following a representation from Opposition parties.

The letter mentioned that Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa, Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira and BJP state president and MLA Ashwani Sharma had approached the Raj Bhavan arguing that the House rules did not allow the convening of a special session “only to move a trust vote in favour of the state government”.

Sources said the Governor’s office had earlier sent queries to the government asking whether rules permitted calling a special session “only for bringing a confidence motion”. “We replied that it was a parliamentary convention. A confidence motion was also moved by the Darbara Singh government in 1981 and a copy of the Vidhan Sabha proceedings was also forwarded to the Governor’s office,” a top government official told The Tribune.

While the Opposition parties hailed the decision, the ruling AAP accused the Governor of “acting at the BJP’s behest”. The AAP had alleged that nine of its MLAs had been offered Rs 25 crore each to switch loyalty.

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha tweeted, “Governors are bound by the advice of the council of ministers and have no discretion of their own in such matters.”

As soon as the assent was withdrawn, AAP ministers started gathering at the Chief Minister’s residence. A meeting of all AAP MLAs has been called in the Assembly at 9 am tomorrow. The party could conduct a mock session, it has been learnt. Till late in the night, the CM and some of his Cabinet colleagues were learnt to be seeking legal opinion. Advocate General Vinod Ghai was also present.

“The Governor’s decision raises a question mark on the country’s democracy…. BR Ambedkar’s Constitution on one side and ‘Operation Lotus’ on the other. People are watching,” said Mann.

#banwarilal purohit #bhagwant mann #democracy #partap singh bajwa #sukhpal khaira

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