The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), on Friday, requested Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit to direct Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to withdraw his statement demanding land in Chandigarh from the Union government to construct the state’s own Assembly and High Court buildings.
Terming Mann’s statement as the surrender of the rights of Punjab over Chandigarh, the SAD said, “Punjabis won’t tolerate transfer of even one inch of land in Chandigarh to Haryana.”
Union home minister Amit Shah, on Saturday, had announced land for setting up an additional Haryana assembly building in Chandigarh. This was after Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar made a demand for building a separate state Assembly in Chandigarh during a meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Jaipur. Following this, Mann demanded similar land for Punjab in a tweet.
A delegation of the party led by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal submitted a memorandum in this regard to the Governor.
The SAD said Mann had not protested against the “steady erosion of Punjab’s rights in Chandigarh including creation of the UT cadre, implementation of Central pay scales and dilution of the status of Punjabi language besides other important issues like removal of Punjab’s representative in the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB)”.
Badal said Chandigarh was an inalienable part of Punjab and this was ratified during the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966 and later by way of the Rajiv-Longowal Accord which had been ratified by both houses of Parliament as well as the Haryana Assembly. He said accordingly the Governor should apprise the Centre of the situation and recommend transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab.
The SAD said the uncertainty created by the action of the Punjab government and the Union home minister could vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the state.
The delegation said that the Punjab chief minister was surrendering the rights of the state due to pressure from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal who wanted to take a pro-Haryana stand vis-à-vis Punjab to reap benefits in the next Haryana assembly elections.