Punjab Govt refutes decision to hold Assembly session

CHANDIGARH:  Banwarilal Purohit, the governor of Punjab, abandoned his plan to call a special day-long Assembly session on Thursday to introduce a motion of confidence in order to "seek the confidence of the people of state," embarrassing the state's ruling AAP government.

After the Congress and BJP approached him, claiming that the House rules did not permit it, the Governor revoked the decision just a few hours before the session on the grounds that he should seek legal advice.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet hurriedly convened a meeting here on Thursday to recall the session, most likely by next week. The 92 MPs would march in protest from the Vidhan Sabha to the residence of the Punjab Governor in Chandigarh, it has been learned. The AAP government made the decision to hold the special session on September 19.

"The state's citizens overwhelmingly supported our government, but some forces opposed to democratic ideals are attempting to bribe our MLAs with money. Therefore, we have decided to ask for the support of state officials during this extraordinary session "Bhagwant Mann, the chief minister, had said.

He had categorically stated that AAP legislators were not for sale because they adhered to the party's philosophy and that "evil attempts to topple the government had also failed in Punjab because the party MLAs are loyal to the people of the state." Mann claimed that this special session will shed light on the alleged plot to overthrow Punjab's democratically elected government.

Sukhbir Singh Badal, the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, had meanwhile asked Mann not to stage the drama of a confidence vote, claiming that the only way to verify bribery allegations was through an independent investigation by the CBI or the high court and that there was no use in calling a special session of the Vidhan Sabha.

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