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Governor’s ire over CM tweets cast shadow on Punjab budget

Will decide on Budget Session only after taking legal advice on the ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘derogatory’ tweets, letter: Punjab governor

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |


Amid confrontation with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the state, Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, on Thursday, said he would decide on allowing the Budget Session on 3 March only after seeking a legal advice on the “unconstitutional” and “extremely derogatory” tweets and letter written by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in response to his letter sent earlier this month.

In a letter to the CM today, Purohit said he will take a decision on summoning of the budget session of the Punjab Assembly only after having received a legal opinion on the tweets and letters of the chief minister.

On Tuesday, the Punjab council of ministers had authorised the governor to convene the session from 3 March to 24 March, as per Article 174 of the Constitution.

In the letter, Governor Purohit has reproduced the tweets and letter sent by CM Mann on 13 February and 14 February, in response to his letter on 13 February. In his letter, Purohit had sought details of the process followed for selection of 36 government school principals for sending them to Singapore for training and the expenditure incurred.

Questioning a recent appointment by the AAP government, the governor had said as per another complaint he came to know that Punjab Information and Communication and Technology Corporation Ltd chairman, Gurinderjit Singh Jawanda’s name “appears in a kidnapping and property grabbing case”. “Please send me the full details of this case,”Purohit said in the letter.

Besides the two issues mentioned above, the Governor sought  information on the five  other “serious issues” which, he said, the CM “has neither been replied nor any action taken on the same” within a fortnight.

The first letter dated 21 July 2022 concerns alleged “non disbursal of scholarship” by the state government which “compelled” about two lakh scheduled caste students to “discontinue their studies “.

The second letter written on 23 November concerns the Governor’s order for removal of “illegally appointed” Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University.

Purohit said in spite of his detailed letter dated 14 December 2022, the CM chose to ignore all misdeeds of Punjab cadre IPS officer Kuldeep Singh Chahal who was removed by the Punjab Governor, who is also the Administrator of the Union Territory (UT) Chandigarh, as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Chandigarh citing reports of “misconduct” against the officer.

The governor also sought reply about the presence of  IIT graduate Naval Aggarwal in meetings of senior officers and advertisements issued by the AAP government.

Reacting to this, Mann had said that he is accountable only to the people of Punjab and not to any Governor appointed by the Central government. He had said that issues raised by the Governor were state subjects. In the letter sent by the CM as a reply, he had written… “People of Punjab want to ask, on what basis are the Governors in different states elected by the Central government in the absence of any specific qualification in the Indian Constitution? Please increase the knowledge of Punjabis by telling this”.