Chandigarh, April 12: The Opposition in Punjab — the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress — on Tuesday asked Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to safeguard the interests of the state and ensure that it is not subject to remote control rule by the AAP government in Delhi or be taken over by the Centre.
The Opposition also asked the Chief Minister to address the pressing concerns of farmers, who are seeking compensation on account of low wheat yields.
Joining the issue, newly-appointed state Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring targeted Mann over the Centre’s interfering in the state’s law and order matters in the context of the Punjab Governor’s visits to the border areas.
He also took a dig at the Chief Minister over Arvind Kejriwal summoning Punjab officials to Delhi, saying it has set a wrong precedent.
Responding to the issue, senior SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema said that instead of tackling the real issues of Punjab, the AAP government is trying to obfuscate them by diverting the attention of the people by focusing on issues like songs and similar activities.
Asserting that the recent developments are very �dangerous’ for the state, Cheema said Punjabis are shocked that Kejriwal is taking meetings of the Punjab chief secretary and the State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) Chairman.
“The apprehension in the minds of the people that the Punjab government would be run by remote control from Delhi under AAP rule is proving to be true,” he said.
Asking Mann to clarify the situation, Cheema said the manner in which the Delhi Chief Minister is riding roughshod over constitutional norms has made Punjabis insecure.
“Punjabis rightfully fear that the officers of Punjab could be brow beaten to sign away the rights of the state on important issues like river-waters. Mann should understand that he has been elected to office in Punjab and he alone should hold the required meetings, and not give this right to the Delhi Chief Minister,” he said.
The SAD said that simultaneously, the Punjab Chief Minister should stand up to the Centre and ensure the federal structure is not diluted in any manner.
Cheema said even while the Chief Minister was in Delhi, the Punjab Governor was taking meetings in the border districts of the state.
Terming this as unprecedented, the Akali leader said that Mann should explain if there is a breakdown in the constitutional machinery and the state has failed in its duties due to which the Governor had to intervene.
Reacting to the development over Kejriwal’s �interference’, former state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu tweeted, “Punjab’s IAS officers summoned by Arvind Kejriwal in CM Bhagwant Mann’s absence. This exposes the de facto CM and Delhi remote control. Clear breach of federalism, insult to Punjabi pride. Both must clarify.”