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New Delhi: Amidst a tiff with the governor over the withdrawal of permission for a ‘special’ Assembly session, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab has decided to have a ‘regular’ session on September 27.
The decision to this effect was taken by the Bhagwant Mann government after the chief minister held discussions with his MLAs and council of ministers on Thursday, September 22. It was also decided that the Mann government would move the Supreme Court against the governor’s decision to cancel the special session.
The controversy erupted after governor Bhanwarilal Purohit withdrew his assent on Wednesday, September 21, given earlier to the AAP government’s request to convene a special session on Thursday. In fact, the governor himself had given his nod to the request for the special session, which the AAP government sought to table a confidence motion in the assembly in the wake of allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to “poach” the ruling party MLAs to dislodge Mann’s government.
After the meeting with his legislators and cabinet colleagues, Mann said the ‘regular’ session will discuss issues like electricity and stubble burning in the state. However, the Indian Express quoted an anonymous source stating that a confidence motion will also be tabled in the ensuing session.
“The regular session will be convened next week. There will be a regular Question Hour, Zero Hour and legislative business will be transacted. In the session, we will also table the confidence motion,” said a source privy to discussions in the government, according to the IE report.
The governor said that the rules of the House do not allow a special session of the assembly only to pass a confidence motion in favour of the government.
The controversy has become the latest flashpoint between AAP on the one side and the opposition Congress and BJP on the other hand. Mann put out a video message and described the governor’s action as a “murder of democracy”.
“Not allowing the assembly to run by the governor raises big questions on the democracy of the country … now democracy will be run by the elected representatives of crores of people or a person appointed by the central government…,” Mann tweeted in Hindi along with a video message.
लोकतंत्र में जनता बड़ी होती हैं…लोगों द्वारा चुनी हुई सरकार को काम न करने देना…लोकतंत्र की हत्या है…आज कैबिनेट की बैठक में 27 सितंबर को सत्र बुलाने का फैसला लिया गया… नदियों को रोका नहीं जा सकता, वो अपने रास्ते खुद बनाती हैं…
इंकलाब जिंदाबाद! pic.twitter.com/x6X9PmjOPb
— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) September 22, 2022
He also accused Congress and BJP of working in tandem to trouble the AAP government in Punjab. “The Congress has been exposed for having a quid pro quo with the BJP. They have welcomed the Governor’s orders… we will not be cowed down.”
AAP national convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal saw the role of the BJP in the “flip-flop” of the governor.
“How can the governor refuse a session called by the cabinet? Then democracy is over. Two days ago, the governor gave permission for the session. When Operation Lotus started failing and the number was not completed, a call came from above asking to withdraw the permission. Today the country has a constitution on one side and Operation Lotus on the other,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
राज्यपाल कैबिनेट द्वारा बुलाए सत्र को कैसे मना कर सकते हैं? फिर तो जनतंत्र खतम है
दो दिन पहले राज्यपाल ने सत्र की इजाज़त दी। जब ऑपरेशन लोटस फ़ेल होता लगा और संख्या पूरी नहीं हुई तो ऊपर से फ़ोन आया कि इजाज़त वापिस ले लो
आज देश में एक तरफ़ संविधान है और दूसरी तरफ़ ऑपरेशन लोटस। pic.twitter.com/BHwuyUG23X
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 21, 2022
(With PTI inputs)