Bhagwant Mann seeks immediate transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab
The central government has attempted to upset the balance with several recent steps, CM Mann said.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday pushed a resolution in the Assembly aiming for the immediate transfer of the Chandigarh to Punjab, accusing the centre of attempting to "upset the balance" in running the Union Territory.
Mann's move comes two weeks after he took office as the Cheif Minister and comes amid the struggle between the centre and Punjab over control of the Union Territory, which serves as Punjab's capital and borders Haryana.
In the notice, Mann has stated that under the Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966, the state of Punjab was reorganised as the state of Haryana, the Union Territory of Chandigarh and some regions of Punjab were given to the then Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh.
He stated in the notice that a balance had been established in the administration of common assets such as Bhakra Beas Management Board by allocating management seats to nominees from the states of Punjab and Haryana in a proportional manner. The central government has attempted to upset this balance with several recent steps.
The Chief Minister highlighted that the central government had advertised the positions of the Bhakra Beas Management Board members, which were formerly filled by officers from Punjab and Haryana, to officers from all states and the central government.
Likewise, the administration of Chandigarh has always been managed in a 60:40 split by officers from Punjab and Haryana. However, the Central Government has dispatched outside officers to Chandigarh and implemented Central Civil Service Rules for Chandigarh Administration personnel, which contradicts the previous understandings, Mann stated in the notice.
The latest brawl began after Union Home Minister Amit Shah declared last week that employees of the Chandigarh administration would receive the same benefits as their counterparts working in the Central government. With this, the opposition parties in the states accused the centre of disturbing the balance and claimed that this would weaken Punjab's claim on Chandigarh; also, it goes against the spirit of federalism.
The ruling Aam Aadmi Party, which now held power in Punjab, claimed the action was the panic reaction by the Bharatiya Janata Party after the poll results were out. The other political parties, including Congress and the Akali Dal, too, opposed the move.
CM Mann stated earlier that the Punjab government would strongly fight for its rightful claim over Chandigarh.