Chandigarh, September 24
After the AAP government’s fresh attack for seeking details of the legislative business to call a special Assembly session, Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit today sought to “remind” Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann of his duties and said his “legal advisers were not briefing him adequately”.
The row between the Raj Bhavan and the government had escalated on Friday after the Governor sought a list of the legislative business to be taken up in the proposed Assembly session on September 27, evoking a strong reaction from Mann, who said it was “too much”.
In a statement, the Governor quoted Articles 167 and 168, as per which, “it is the duty of the Chief Minister to furnish information to the Governor”. Addressing the Chief Minister in the statement, Purohit said, “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 advisers are not briefing you adequately. Perhaps your opinion about me will definitely change after reading the provisions of Articles 167 and 168 of the Constitution.”
The government subsequently appeared to be softening its stance as it informed the Governor that issues of stubble burning, GST and power supply would be taken up. In its communication to the Raj Bhavan, the government, through the Vidhan Sabha Secretary, said, “In addition, business on different issues as per notices received from members may also be taken up during the session as per relevant provisions of the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.”
The communication also stated that the “demand for agenda and details cannot be a condition or precedent for convening of a session or delaying a session. “Once decided by the Council of Ministers, the decision shall be binding on the Governor. Any contrary approach would be unknown to law, beyond the Constitution, contrary to precedent, practice and convention and, hence, legally untenable,” said the communication.
At separate press conferences earlier, Cabinet ministers Aman Arora and Harpal Cheema alleged that the Governor was working at the BJP’s behest to implement ‘Operation Lotus’ in Punjab.
Arora claimed no Governor had ever sought the details of legislative business over the past 75 years. “This is happening for the first time. The Governor is working in cahoots with the BJP and the Congress to weaken the democratic system and stop the AAP government from working for the people’s welfare,” he said.
Cheema alleged that the Governor’s office was not allowing an elected government to function freely. “I want to ask the Governor to check record and tell the people how many Governors have asked the ruling government to provide information about the purpose of summoning an Assembly session. No Governor did it. He is doing so as he is working at the BJP’s behest,” said Cheema.
Significantly, before seeking details of legislative business for the September 27 session, the Governor had withdrawn his assent for a special session called by the government on September 22.
About the two Articles
It shall be the duty of the CM to:
(a) Communicate to the Governor all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to state’s affairs & proposals for legislation
(b) Furnish information relating to state’s affairs, proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for
(c) If the Governor so requires, submit for the Council of Minister’s consideration any decision taken by a minister but not considered by the council
Constitution of the legislatures in states:
For every state, there shall be a legislature, which shall consist of the Governor, and — In states of…two houses; in other states, one house
Punjab CM ill-advised
Perhaps you are too much angry with me…. your legal advisers are not briefing you adequately. Banwarilal Purohit,Governor
Working at BJP’s behest
No Governor did it. He’s doing so as he is working at the BJP’s behest to implement ‘Op Lotus’ in Punjab. Harpal Cheema, minister
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