Terming the Haryana government’s offer to construct a new Assembly building in Chandigarh by offering a similar piece of land in Panchkula as violative of Article 3 of the Constitution, the Shiromani Akali Dal Saturday urged Punjab Governor to reject the proposal. A SAD delegation, led by its chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, also handed over a memorandum to Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is also the UT Administrator. “We told Governor Saab that the people of Punjab will never tolerate that the land be allotted to Haryana in Chandigarh for setting up its assembly,” Badal said. Badal said he told Purohit that the Haryana government’s application for allotment of land in Chandigarh by way of land swap for creation of a separate Vidhan Sabha was in violation of Article 3 of the Constitution and urged him to reject it immediately.
He impressed on the Governor that only Parliament was empowered to make laws relating to alteration of existing states and their borders.
The delegation said Haryana should accordingly be told to establish a new Vidhan Sabha if it so wished within the boundaries of Haryana. “Haryana’s move to apply for 10 acres of land in the Union Territory of Chandigarh by way of a land swap is aimed at diluting Punjab’s right over Chandigarh,” said Badal. He said the move was also counter-productive to maintenance of peace in the state. “Punjabis are sentimentally attached to Chandigarh and will not allow any land to be given to Haryana in the state”.
He also apprised the Governor to recommend transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab keeping in view the sentiments of Punjabis as well as ending the “injustice” done to Punjab which has been denied its own capital since 55 years.
Chandigarh is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.
Notably, Haryana has sought a 10-acre land in Chandigarh for additional building of its state assembly. It has identified the 10-acre piece of land adjacent to the traffic lights of Madhya Marg near railway station road junction. In lieu of it, Haryana has offered the 10-acre site in Panchkula.
Recently, Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta had met Punjab Governor Purohit and had discussed with him about land allotment.
In July at the northern zone council meeting in Jaipur, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had announced land for setting up an additional building for Haryana Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh.
At present, the Punjab and Haryana governments share the Vidhan Sabha complex which is next to the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat in Union Territory of Chandigarh.
SAD chief Badal also raised the issue of alleged deteriorating law and order in the state under the AAP regime. “Nobody is feeling safe here. People are getting extortion calls,” alleged Badal.
Badal even took a swipe at the Aam Aadmi Party government, saying Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and other party leaders were busy in Gujarat in the wake of the state assembly polls there. Mann said that Punjabis had never dreamt of getting zero electricity bill. “But now owing to the government’s efforts, this has become a reality. This has also helped reduce the power consumption as as several families have started using less electricity to avail the free 600 units,” he said.