Virtually snubbing the recent attempt by the Union Government to take the control of union territory of Chandigarh out of the Punjab Governor’s purview, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said on Tuesday that Chandigarh will always be integral part of his state.
"Chandigarh was, is and will ever remain an integral part of the state. Any deviation from existing practice of appointing Punjab Governor as administrator of Chandigarh was not at all acceptable," Badal told media during a function in Lambi assembly seat in Muktsar district, 250 km from here.
"As per States Reorganization Act, every parent state has sole right over its capital city but grave injustice had been meted out to state by denying Chandigarh to the state. Punjab has the sole right over its capital and it must be given to the state at every cost.
"Till Chandigarh is not given to the state, the around four decades old practice of appointing Punjab Governor as the administrator of Chandigarh should be continued," said Badal, who was quite upset as the move came just as Punjab is six months away from assembly polls.
Badal’s comments came in response to a move by the Narendra Modi government last week in which it was decided to appoint Kerala BJP leader and former firebrand bureaucrat K.J. Alphons as the new Administrator of the union territory.
The move would have ended a 32-year-old system of the Punjab Governor also controlling the union territory of Chandigarh as Administrator.
However, following objections raised by Badal, the ruling Akali Dal and the opposition Congress in Punjab, the centre did not issue the orders of appointment of Alphons.
The Union government on Thursday appointed Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore as the Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
Under the earlier orders of appointment of the new Punjab Governor, Badnore was not given the charge of UT Administrator.
Alphons said: "Very soon it’s going to be election time in Punjab, and since political parties have expressed reservations against me, the appointment is not going to happen. Since I did not get the orders, the question of the order being cancelled does not arise. I will say that my appointment is not coming through."
Chandigarh, a union territory, is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.