Punjab Governor warns ‘unresposive’ chief minister of President’s rule

The Governor has shot a warning letter to CM Bhagwant Mann taking strong umbrage to his "unresponsive" attitude to official communications.

BySouth First Desk

Published Aug 25, 2023 | 8:23 PMUpdatedAug 25, 2023 | 8:23 PM

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Governor Banwarilal Purohit. (Commons)

The friction between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab and Governor Banwari Lal Purohit has scaled to the next level with the Governor warning of the recommendation of the President’s rule in the state, on Friday, 25 August.

The Governor has shot a warning letter to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann taking strong umbrage at his “unresponsive” attitude to official communications.

In a detailed letter shot to him, Governor Banwarilal Purohit warned Mann he could recommend President’s rule in the state and also start criminal proceedings if his letters were not answered.

Also read: Punjab police bust cross-border smuggling module

Governor raises questions on drug trafficking

In his previous letters, the Punjab Governor raised questions on drug trafficking in the border state and asked Mann to furnish an action taken report which was reportedly never submitted.

Meanwhile, AAP called this political conspiracy of BJP ruling in the Centre and accused the Governor of not maintaining the dignity of his constitutional post and being BJP’s mouthpiece.

It may be noted that a state is brought under the direct rule of the Centre with the invocation of Article 356, usually after a report is sent by the Governor.

In his latest communication to Mann, Governor Purohit indicated he was upset over not getting any reply from him on his previous, and warned him that he could send a report to the President on the “failure of constitutional mechanism”.

Purohit advised Mann to act before he takes this “final decision” under Article 356 of the Constitution, and Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code.

“Before I am going to make a final decision regarding sending a report to the President of India under Article 356 about the failure of the constitutional mechanism and take a decision about initiating criminal proceedings under section 124 of the IPC, I ask you to send me the requisite information sought for under my letters referred to above, as also in the matter of the steps taken by you concerning the problem of drugs in the state, failing which I would have no choice but to take action according to law and the Constitution,” the Governor said in the letter.

Also read: BSF nabs two Pakistani nationals trying to smuggle heroin 

‘Trying to impose BJP’s agenda’

Responding to the Governor’s warning, AAP leader and official spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang while talking to South First said “Governor should maintain India’s Constitution which empowers elected people. With such kind of threatening and warning by the Governor and threat to impose President’s Rule, BJP’s agenda has come to the fore.”

“He is just a BJP spokesperson. AAP is not afraid of such threats. I would like to tell the Governor that if they want to impose the President’s Rule, they should do that in Manipur, in Haryana,” Kang said.

“The Punjab government is working within the constitutional framework. The Governor has just one agenda – taking forward BJP’s agenda of disturbing the non-BJP State governments,” he added.

Other opposition-ruled states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have also alleged the Governor’s interference in the state government’s functioning.