A day before Punjab’s CM Bhagwant Mann-led government was to convene a special session of the assembly for a confidence vote, the Punjab governor on Wednesday withdrew his order summoning the assembly, citing legal reasons.
The order follows representations by Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa, Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president and MLA Ashwani Sharma, stating there is no legal provision to convene a special session just to move confidence motion in favour of the state government.
“This matter was examined and a legal opinion was sought from Sh . Satya Pal Jain, Additional Solicitor General of India. He has given his legal opinion that there is no specific provision regarding summoning of the Assembly for considering the ‘Confidence Motion’ only, in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. In the light of the above legal opinion, which establishes that there is no legal provision under Punjab Vidhan Sabha Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business that provides for convening a Special Session for Motion of Confidence only, Hon’ble Governor Punjab has withdrawn his Order dated 20th September, 2022 regarding summoning of the State Assembly on 22nd September 2022,” a statement from the Governor’s office said.
Hon’ble Governor’s withdrawal order raises a serious question mark on his intent.
It is beyond any reasonable understanding as to why there should be any objection to a government’s decision to face the Assembly?
This order further proves the sinister design of Operation Lotus. pic.twitter.com/RU9RZjLzRE
— Raghav Chadha (@raghav_chadha) September 21, 2022
Khaira said, “The Governor of Punjab should not allow the unconstitutional proceedings of the Vidhan Sabha tomorrow, as there is no provision for Motion of Confidence under the rules of business. Also, as of now, Speaker Kultar Singh and deputy Speaker are facing non-bailable warrants and hence can’t preside tomorrow.”
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BJP leader Rajkumar Verka said, “What the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab was doing by calling this special session was absolutely unconstitutional. The Governor has done the right thing by not giving permission to conduct this special session.”
Mann had on Monday announced that a special session of the Assembly will be convened. With 92 MLAs, the AAP has an overwhelming majority in the 117-member Punjab Assembly, while the Congress has 18 legislators, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has three, the BJP two and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) one. There is also an Independent member.
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