CHANDIGARH: Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement on Sunday that the service conditions of employees of Chandigarh administration will now be aligned to that of the central civil services has evoked sharp reactions from political parties in Punjab. They alleged that the Centre’s move was an infringement on the rights of the state and violation of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966.
Leaders of the AAP, SAD and Congress alleged that the move was aimed at diluting Punjab’s claim over Chandigarh – a Union territory and joint capital of Punjab and Haryana – and was another big blow to the rights of the state after changes in the Bhakra Beas Management Board rules.
“Centre has been stepwise imposing officers and personnel from other states and services in the Chandigarh administration. This goes against the letter and spirit of Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966. Punjab will fight strongly for its rightful claim over Chandigarh,” CM Bhagwant Mann tweeted on Monday.
Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema accused the Centre of taking “anti-Punjab decisions” and said the state government would fight the issue from “streets to Parliament”. The SAD requested the CM to call an all-party meeting and unitedly approach the Centre.
Why the move has raised hackles of political parties
The home minister announcement means that the central civil services rules will now apply to employees of Chandigarh administration who were till now governed by the Punjab service rules. As per the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 60 per cent employees in Chandigarh administration have to be from Punjab and 40 per cent from Haryana.
However, Punjab parties alleged this ratio is not being followed for sometime as IAS officers of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre have outnumbered their counterparts from Punjab and Haryana. Moreover, Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service cadre officers are also being appointed now.