Terming it as a move to erode Punjab’s stake in Chandigarh, political parties in the state have lambasted the Union home ministry’s reported move to merge the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) cadre of the Chandigarh Police with the police officers of all Union Territories (UTs) including the Delhi Police.

While Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh has opposed the reported move  and demanded “status quo” till the territorial dispute of Chandigarh between Punjab and Haryana is settled, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday said the move to merge Chandigarh  DSPs  cadre with DANIPS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Service) cadre, is “mischievous and provocative”.

In a statement on Sunday, Amarinder had said the existing pattern of all Chandigarh UT posts being shared between Punjab and Haryana in 60:40 ratio should continue.

“The reported move to merge the Chandigarh DSP post with other UTs would disturb the fine balance achieved over the years,” he said, warning that it could be counter-productive.

Amarinder expressed concern over the attempts to gradually dilute Punjab’s stake in Chandigarh, pointing to the fact that a similar erosion had already taken place, over the years, in the post of Class I Gazetted Officers. “Punjab would not allow further erosion of its interests,” he added.

The CM has also directed the Chief Secretary to initiate steps for the establishment of a special cell, in the General Administration branch, to deal with all Chandigarh-related issues in order to protect the interests of Punjab.

On his part, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said there is no provision under the existing laws and directions of the Union government to make any changes on that score, including through the merger of the DSP posts as proposed now. “This must be nipped in the bud,” he said.

Badal urged the Punjab CM to ensure that no one is allowed to tamper with the status of Chandigarh as the designated capital of Punjab.

He said it was sad that the country needed to be reminded every now and then that Punjab’s claim on Chandigarh is endorsed not only by the Punjab Assembly but also by the Haryana Assembly.