Punjab CM Mann responds to Governor's Prez rule threat, says Purohit is 'lurching for power'

Purohit has been accusing Mann of not responding to the letters sent to him in defiance of his authority, whereas Mann has claimed he has replied to all but seven such missives he has received.
FILE - A collage of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Governor Banwarilal Purohit, used for representational purposes only. (Photos | PTI)
FILE - A collage of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Governor Banwarilal Purohit, used for representational purposes only. (Photos | PTI)

CHANDIGARH: Responding to Punjab Governor Banwari Lal Purohit’s warning of recommending the President’s rule if he “keeps sitting” on his letters, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Saturday said the Governor is “lurching for power” and advised him to contest elections from his home state — Rajasthan— due this year.

Mann said he will neither succumb to such threats nor compromise with the interests of his state. “Through letters, I can smell that the Governor is hungry for power as he is feeling politically irrelevant now,’’ the chief minister alleged during a presser.

According to the Governor, the chief minister has not yet replied to his letters and queries about his steps to curb the drug menace. If Mann still fails to reply, he may send a report to the President under Article 356 of “failure of constitutional mechanism” in the state, Purohit warned on Thursday.

Mann said that he has been consistently responding to the Governor’s correspondence by replying to nine of the 16 letters. Responses to the remaining letters will be dispatched shortly, he added. Mann alleged that the Governors in the non-BJP ruled states like Delhi, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, are acting as “puppets” of the Union government to create unwanted hindrances.

Highlighting the communal violence in Manipur and Haryana’s Nuh, Mann questioned, “Did the Haryana Governor write any letter for imposing President’s rule after Nuh riots?  What happened in Manipur? Did the Governor give any statements?”

Over the functioning of the Raj Bhawan, Mann said six bills were passed in the Assembly in over a year and a half, but the Governor has not given his assent to any of them. Regarding the Panjab University issue, Mann said that the Governor was consistently “favouring Haryana” while as the administrator of
Chandigarh, Purohit removed the SSP of the Punjab cadre posted in Chandigarh overnight, depriving Punjab of the coveted post for six months.

Purohit advised Mann to act before making his final decision under Article 356 of the Constitution and Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code.

A state is brought under direct rule of the Centre with the invocation of Article 356, usually after a report is sent by the governor. Section 124 of the IPC relates to assaulting or wrongfully restraining the President or a governor from exercising their lawful powers.

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