Chandigarh, Sep 24 (IANS) Amid a war of words between the government and the Governor's office, Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Saturday said it was condemnable that Governor Banwarilal Purohit has sought details of legislative business for the proposed Assembly session on September 27.
His assertions come in the wake of the Governor seeking details of legislative business to be taken in the Assembly session called by the government on September 27.
Reacting to this, Cheema, who was the Leader of Opposition in the previous state government, said the Governor's office is constantly interfering in the work of Punjab and not allowing an elected AAP government to work freely.
'I want to ask the Governor to check the record of his office and tell the people how many governors have asked the ruling government to provide information about the purpose of summoning an assembly session. Till today, no governor did it. Only he is doing so, because he is working at the behest of the BJP.'
Responding to the purported 'war of words', the Governor in a missive to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said, 'After reading your statements in today's newspapers, it appears to me that perhaps you are 'too much' angry with me. 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.'
Finance Minister Cheema lashed out at the BJP for trying to stop the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab through the Governor's office and said the BJP 'is afraid of growing popularity of AAP in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh ahead of the Assembly elections in the both states'.
He said AAP 'is dedicatedly working for the welfare of people and after Delhi and Punjab now there is a wave for change in other states'.
'The AAP is becoming a major threat to the BJP in the forthcoming elections and that's why they are now scared.'
Cheema told the media that in many states like Maharashtra, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP toppled governments after buying ruling MLAs under its devious 'Operation Lotus'.
They are intimidating Opposition MLAs with the CBI, the ED and through money. 'They are murdering democracy.'
'But this operation has been stopped by AAP, first in Delhi and now in Punjab. Due to this, the BJP has now opted for another tactic and is using the Governor's office to stop AAP,' Cheema added.
He also attacked the opposition and said the Congress, the BJP and the Akali Dal do not have any issue against AAP that's why they were running away for any debate in the Assembly session.
'They don't want the elected government to work for the welfare of Punjabis,' he added.
Chief Minister Mann clarified that the Governor or President consent before any session of legislature is a formality.
'In 75 years, no President/Governor ever asked list of Legislative business before calling session. Legislative business is decided by BAC (Business Advisory Council) and speaker. Next Governor will ask for all speeches also to be approved by him. It's too much,' Mann tweeted.
Joining the issue, another Cabinet Minister Aman Arora termed it 'unfortunate and condemnable'.
Arora told the media that in the past 75 years no President or Governor has ever asked for the list of legislative business before calling the session.
'This is happening for the first time because the Punjab Governor is clearly working in cahoots with the BJP and the Congress to weaken the democratic system and stop the Aam Aadmi Party government from working for the welfare of common people,' he said.
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