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Mann writes back, questions Purohit on criteria for appointing governor

The governor, on Monday, had sought details of the process followed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for selection of 36 school principals for sending them to Singapore for training.

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |


Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday said before asking the state government to explain criteria for sending school principals to Singapore, Governor Banwarilal Purohit must explain the qualifications being adopted by the Union government for appointing a person to this coveted post.

In a letter to the governor, who on Monday sought details of the process followed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for selection of 36 school principals for sending them to Singapore for training, the CM said the residents of the state want to ask that in dearth of any fixed criteria for appointing a person to the post of governor, how the Union government appoints the governors to various states.

He said when there are no fixed qualifications laid down in the Constitution for this appointment, how then the governors are appointed. Mann urged the Governor to explain this so that the knowledge of Punjabis can be enhanced.

The CM said prior to inquiring from him about the selection process to send government school principals to Singapore for training, the Governor must answer this question.

He said all the issues raised by the governor in a letter to him are the issues related to jurisdiction of the state. Bhagwant Mann said that for these issues he is accountable to the three crore Punjabis who have elected him with a whopping mandate.

In a letter to the CM Bhagwant Mann yesterday, the governor said he had “received complaints in respect to the selection of principals for sending them to Singapore for training. The complainants point out certain mal practices and illegalities in the selection of these principals. Allegation is that there is no transparency. I, therefore, request you to send me criteria and details of the entire selection process”.

Purohit asked the CM to also give details if it was widely published throughout Punjab. “As per news reports since the first batch has come back, please let me have details of total expenditure incurred on travelling and boarding lodging and expenses towards training.

Questioning a recent appointment by the AAP government, the governor 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.

Taking on Mann, Governor said in one of the letters addressed to him, the CM had mentioned that because of the heavy mandate by the people of Punjab he (Mann) is the CM. “…  I fully agree with you (Mann) on this count but you should also keep it in mind that people of the state elected you for running the administration as per the Constitution and not as per whims and fancies,”.

Purohit said as per Article 167 of the Constitution of India, the CM is bound to furnish full details and information asked by the Governor. “… , but you (CM) have not furnished the same and never cared to reply and treated all my queries with contempt,” the Governor said in the letter.

“To maintain cordial relations I have not revealed these letters to the Press because I thought you will fulfil the mandate of the constitution but now it appears to me that you have decided to ignore my letters and I am compelled to release these letters to the media,” he added.

 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.

“If you fail to provide this information within the stipulated time period as already sufficient time has passed I will be compelled to take legal advice for further action, since I am duty bound to protect the Constitution,” the governor said releasing letters written to the CM regarding these five issues.