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Delhi-Punjab govt agreement anti-democratic & anti-people: Congress

“The decisions on public welfare schemes and their implementation could be potentially decided in Delhi,” the Leader of Opposition said.

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Partap Singh Bajwa on Tuesday said the agreement signed between Punjab Chief Minister and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal is anti-democratic and anti-people.

“This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) potentially legalises the government of Punjab being remote-controlled from Delhi,” the Congress leader said, comparing the MoU to the Lahore Durbar inviting the British in March 1846 to safeguard the safety of the Maharajah.

“By signing this agreement, the government of Punjab has abrogated its responsibility to implement and manage welfare schemes in Punjab,” he said.

The Congress leader said Article VIII of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) allows for the creation of a “Delhi-Punjab Joint Working Group on Public Welfare Cooperation,” that would be empowered to coordinate and implement this agreement.

“The MoU has no clear appointment process or rules or regulations for the functioning of such a group. In effect, it would allow this unelected working group to manage the affairs of the State, outside of the purview of the Chief Minister,” Bajwa said.

Furthermore, all information regarding the functioning of this MOU could be deemed “confidential” and therefore its actions would be hidden from the public.

“The decisions on public welfare schemes and their implementation could be potentially decided in Delhi,” the Leader of Opposition said.

He said if Bhagwant Mann was forced to sign this then he must resign. “How will he be able to defend Punjab’s interests, especially when it comes to the Sutlej-Yamuna Canal Link issue?” Bajwa added.

He said this memorandum has sold off the rights of Punjab to Delhi into perpetuity. “The agreement prevents work orders to be canceled if a future government withdraws from the MoU. We will fight and protect the interests of Punjab and Punjabiyat both legally and politically,” Bajwa added.