The ongoing face-off between Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has ended with the Governor agreeing to summon the State Assembly session on September 27.
Punjb Assembly Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan on Sunday said that the Governor has acceded to government’s request for holding the Assembly session.
“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,” he said in a tweet.
Punjab Governor and the AAP government had been at loggerheads over the issue of holding the Assembly sessions. The ruling AAP had announced to convene the special session of the Assembly on September 22 to bring a ‘confidence motion’, following the party’s allegation that attempts were being made to topple its government in Punjab by offering bribes to its legislators by agents of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). The Governor, however, withdrew the order of summoning a special session of the State Assembly on September 22, citing the “absence of specific rules” regarding summoning of the Assembly for the ‘confidence motion’ only. This triggered a face-off between the Governor and the government.
Following this, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann announced that the State government would summon the session of the State Assembly on September 27 to discuss ‘various issues pertaining to the state’. Mr. Purohit then sought details of the legislative business to be taken up in the proposed assembly session on September 27.
Mr. Purohit had on September 23, sought details of the legislative business to be taken up in the proposed assembly session on September 27. Terming the Governor’s demand as “too much”, Mr. Mann stated that Governor or President consent before any session of legislature is a formality. Responding to Mr. Mann’s remark, Mr. Purohit wrote to the Chief Minister, asking him to refer the provisions of Article 167 and 168 of the Constitution.
In the letter, Mr. Purohit mentioned that according to Article 167: Duties of the Chief Minister as respects the furnishing of information to the Governor etc, it shall be the duty of the Chief Minister of each State - (a) To communicate to the Governor of the State all decisions of the council of Ministers relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation; (b) To furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for; and (c) If the Governor so requires, to submit for the consideration of the council of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister but which has not been considered by the council.
Replying to the Governor, the State government conveyed that the demand for agenda, while it is being met herein without prejudice, can’t be a condition precedent for convening of a session nor delay in convening of a session, once decided upon by the Council of Ministers, the decision of the latter being binding on the Governor. The government said “it proposes to take up legislative/government business which inter alia includes burning issues of GST, stubble buring, power scenario etc. for consideration of the State legislature.”