The uncertainty over the “appointment” of a full-time Administrator and the eventual announcement that the Punjab Governor would serve as the administrator brought disappointment to city residents.
The residents alleged that Punjab had “snatched Chandigarh’s independent status” only because of political reasons. Some of them even demanded that K J Alphons Kannamthanam be appointed as the deputy administrator.
Activist Ajay Jagga, who had filed several representations with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Prime Minister’s Office earlier seeking restoration of the previous commissioner system, said: “Punjab has snatched the independent status of Chandigarh, which it was to get after so many years with the appointment of Alphons. It is just like you don’t have the head of the family.”
Jagga added that he would write to the Union government to at least appoint Alphons as the deputy administrator.
Members of Chandigarh First Forum also held a meeting on Thursday on the issue. P C Sanghi, member of Administrator Advisory Council, said: “ It is highly disheartening. The Centre has come under political pressure and to appoint governor as the administrator was their political compulsion. The governor is not even accessible to Chandigarh residents.”
The chief commissioner system, which was prevalent in Chandigarh earlier, was put to an end on June 1, 1984, owing to disturbance in Punjab.
Following this, a notification was issued which made the Punjab Governor as the Chandigarh administrator. According to the Article 239 of the Indian Constitution, it mentioned, “Notwithstanding anything contained in Part VI, the President may appoint the Governor of a State as the administrator of an adjoining Union territory, and where a Governor is so appointed, he shall exercise his functions as such administrator independently of his Council of Ministers.”
Thereafter, a number of representations were filed with the MHA and Prime Minister’s Office for restoring the original set up of Union Territory of Chandigarh wherein it was headed by chief commissioner, but to no avail.