AAP doubles down on battle with Punjab governor in special session

Bhagwant Mann’s cabinet suggested holding a special meeting on Tuesday.

Chandigarh:

A day after Governor Banwarilal Purohit blocked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government from conducting a majority test, the Punjab Cabinet today introduced a new proposal for a special assembly to conduct a majority test.

The Bhagwant Mann-led government has accused the BJP of trying to poach its priorities, hoping for a strength test in parliament to prove that all its lawmakers back the party.

In the latest move on the issue, the cabinet called for a special meeting on Tuesday. In a video speech shared on social media, Mr Mann said “to keep an elected government from working is a murder of democracy”.

In response to the governor’s decision, AAP Convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that “democracy is over”. “How can the Governor refuse a meeting called by the Cabinet? Then democracy is over. Two days ago, the Governor approved the meeting. When Operation Lotus started to fail and the numbers were not completed, there was a call from above asking for permission to withdraw,” he said.

Mr Kejriwal’s government won a similar majority test in Delhi last month after claiming the BJP’s “Operation Lotus” toppled the AAP government.

Chief Minister Mann said the Governor’s move “raises major questions about democracy in the country”. “Not allowing the Governor to preside over Parliament raises major questions for the nation’s democracy… Democracy will now be run by the elected representatives of hundreds of millions of people or those appointed by the central government…” he tweeted.

The AAP also targeted the opposition Congress, saying it was closely linked to the BJP.

State Assembly president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring hit back at the accusation, calling AAP’s move “dramatic” and welcoming the governor’s decision. “Obviously, it’s been a play from day one, and it’s nice to have pulled the curtain down on their ridiculous theatre at the right time,” he said.

Shiromani Akali Dal said the governor’s decision prevented the waste of public funds. The party said the special session and most tests were nothing more than a “stunt” planned by Mr Mann and Mr Kejriwal.

The BJP’s Amit Malviya also backed the governor’s decision, saying it was “rooted in constitutionality”.





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