Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit Saturday reminded Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann of his duties and said his legal advisors were not adequately briefing him on the same even as the government responded to a Raj Bhavan letter seeking a list on the legislative business for a proposed Assembly session as “unknown to law, beyond the Constitution, contrary to precedent, and legally untenable.”
A row between the Raj Bhavan and the AAP government, which began after Governor withdrew an order summoning a special sitting of the Vidhan Sabha called by Mann to table a confidence motion, escalated Friday after Purohit sought to know the legislative businesses to be taken up in an Assembly session proposed for September 27. The CM had reacted to the demand as “too much”.
On Saturday, Governor, in a letter to the chief minister 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,” Purohit further wrote.
While Article 167 defines a chief minister’s duties towards the Governor, Article 168 speaks about the composition of the state legislature.
The Governor is yet to give his assent for the Assembly session called on September 27.
On Saturday, in a letter to the Governor, the Punjab government said, “The demand for agenda and details, while it is being met herein without prejudice, cannot be a condition precedent for calling/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 Hon’ble Governor. Any contrary approach would be unknown to law, beyond the Constitution, contrary to precedent, practice and convention and hence legally untenable.”
It further requested the Governor to issue the orders summoning the State Assembly on September 27 “as per decision of the government, as conveyed on 22.09.2022.” The reply of the government does not mention that it wants to table confidence motion.