Punjab Governor calls it quits, cites ‘personal reasons’

Banwarilal Purohit's resignation came days after the BJP swept the Chandigarh mayoral polls retaining all three posts, a setback to the Congress-AAP alliance and INDIA bloc.
Banwarilal Purohit. (File photo| PTI)
Banwarilal Purohit. (File photo| PTI)

CHANDIGARH: In a surprise move, Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is also Chandigarh Administrator, tendered his resignation to President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday citing personal reasons.

The resignation came allegations of tampering in the Chandigarh mayoral elections in favor of a BJP candidate.

According to sources, Purohit met the President on Friday and expressed his desire to resign from the post of the Punjab Governor and Administrator of the Chandigarh Administration. Before sending the resignation, Purohit had also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the national capital, sources said.

In his resignation letter, he wrote, “Due to my personal reasons and certain other commitments, I tender my resignation from the post of governor of Punjab and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh. Please accept the same and oblige.’’

The resignation came days after the BJP swept the Chandigarh mayoral polls retaining all three posts, a setback to the Congress-AAP alliance and INDIA bloc, which had reasoned “tampering with ballot papers by the presiding officer” for their defeat and had moved high court and Supreme Court against the election result.

Ever since Purohit took over as the State governor, his tenure remained eventful due to loggerheads frequently with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the State over several issues.

Banwarilal Purohit. (File photo| PTI)
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These include withholding several Bills passed by the State Assembly, questioning the working of the chief minister and warning Mann of imposing the president’s rule in the state.

The differences between the Governor and the chief minister widened when he intimidated Mann into taking criminal action after his series of letters to the CM’s office went unnoticed.

The row escalated after the AAP government moved the Supreme Court against Purohit in November last year over the pending Bills, following which the apex court reprimanded him for the delay in giving assent to bills passed by the Assembly.

Later, the governor reserved three Bills—Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023—for the consideration of the President

On the other hand, Mann and his cabinet colleagues besides party leaders reacted sharply each time the governor raised any issue or sought answers from the government.

They accused Purohit of acting at the behest of the BJP and conspiring against their government. Purohit took charge as the Punjab governor in September 2021, after serving as the Tamil Nadu governor for four years.

Banwarilal Purohit. (File photo| PTI)
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The New Indian Express