The Punjab Governor today approved a second special assembly session after bitter exchanges with the Chief Minister over his “duties”. The Governor has “very kindly” accepted our request and summoned the Punjab assembly to meet for its third session on Tuesday at 11 am, Aam Aadmi Party MLA and assembly speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan tweeted this morning.
The Hon. Governor, Punjab, has very kindly acceded to our request and summoned the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to meet for it’s third session on 27.9.2022 at 11.00 AM at Chandigarh
— Kultar Singh Sandhwan (@Sandhwan) September 25, 2022
It is not yet clear if a trust vote will be held during the session.
The AAP government has said that the proposed session of September 27 will be used to discuss stubble burning and power sector issues.
Earlier, Governor Banwarilal Purohit had shot down the state government’s plan to summon a special Assembly session on September 22 to bring a confidence motion.
The government had meant to seek a trust vote in the session and prove majority amid the BJP’s alleged attempts at conducting an “Operation Lotus”.
The party has alleged that the BJP has offered Rs 25 crore each to several AAP MLAs and tried to induce them to change sides. The party has also claimed that it has audio-video evidence of these exchanges, which have been submitted to the police.
The row between Raj Bhavan and AAP escalated after Mr Purohit asked for the agenda of the special assembly session proposed by the cabinet. While asking for Governor’s consent for an assembly session, a list of legislative business is usually provided. However, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann tweeted that no President or Governor has asked for a list of Legislative business before calling a session in 75 years. “Next Gov will ask all speeches also to be approved by him. its too much, (sic)” his tweet read.
Governor Purohit on Saturday hit back, seeking to “remind” the Punjab Chief Minister of his duties and said his legal advisors were not adequately briefing him on the same.
“After reading your statements in today’s newspapers, it appears to me that perhaps you are ‘too much’ angry with me,” he wrote in a letter to Mr Mann. He further said, “I think your legal advisors are not briefing you adequately. Perhaps, your opinion about me will definitely change after reading the provisions of Article 167 and 168 of the Constitution, which I’m quoting for your ready reference.” While Article 167 defines a Chief Minister’s duties towards the Governor, Article 168 speaks about the composition of the state legislature.
Reacting sharply to the Punjab Governor’s decision, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP Convenor Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted: “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.”
The Governor initially approved, but had later withdrawn the permission, claiming he did so after legal counsel.
AAP had slammed both the Congress and the BJP, saying the two were in cahoots to cancel the special session of Punjab assembly. AAP had termed the Governor’s move a “murder of democracy”.