Punjab Assembly on Friday passed a resolution seeking immediate transfer of the Union Territory Chandigarh, which also serves as the state’s joint capital with Haryana, to Punjab.
Barring two-members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who opposed the resolution, all other Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) belonging to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal, Bahujan Samaj Party and one independent legislator supported the resolution during the one-day special session amid a political row sparked by Union home minister Amit Shah’s announcement that Central service rules will apply to the employees of Chandigarh
The BJP MLAs had walked out of the House when this resolution was unanimously passed through voice vote.
The House also implored the Central government to honor the principles of federalism enshrined in the Constitution and not to take any steps which may disturb the balance in the administration of Chandigarh and that of other common assets like Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB).
Moving the resolution in the House, the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann lambasted the BJP-led Central government for indulging in vendetta politics especially in states like Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal where the saffron party has failed to get people’s mandate for formation of its government.
“Punjab was reorganised through the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 wherein, the state of Punjab was reorganised into the state of Haryana, Union Territory of Chandigarh and some parts of Punjab were given to the then Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh,” the resolution said.
“Since then a balance was maintained in the administration of common assets like Bhakra Beas Management Board, by way of giving management positions in some proportion to the nominees of state of Punjab and state of Haryana. Through many of its recent actions the Central government has been trying to upset this balance,” it said.
Speaking in the Assembly in favor of the resolution which comes days after the Union home minister Amit Shah announced the decision to give employees of the Chandigarh Union Territory administration the same benefits as Central government employees by replacing Punjab service rules with Central services rules from 1 April, Mann said he would seek time from President of India, Prime Minister and Home Minister to take up the issue.