Punjab's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Thursday decided to convene a session on September 27 after the Governor prevented him from convening a special session of the Assembly to seek the trust vote. The state government will also approach the Supreme Court regarding the move of Raj Bhavan. AAP MLAs on Thursday took out a 'march' to protest against the withdrawal of the decision to convene a special session of the Punjab Assembly.
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said that the assembly session will be held on September 27. He said that issues like power supply and stubble burning will be discussed in this session. There is speculation that the state government may move a resolution to "prove" a majority in the House to protest against the BJP's alleged attempts to "buy" AAP MLAs. When Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema was asked about this, he did not answer directly but said that the Business Advisory Committee of the House will decide what business is to be done on that day.
Cheema also asked why the Governor preferred the Additional Solicitor General of India over the State Advocate General for a legal opinion on the matter. "It was a dark day when the governor passed this order. He passed this order on the advice of the Additional Solicitor General of India, who is a former BJP MP." Earlier in the day, during the march, "Stop Killing Democracy" and "Operation" were in the hands of AAP MLAs. There were placards with slogans like "Lotus Murdabad".
The party accused the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of colluding and working together to prevent a special session of the state assembly. The MLAs, however, were stopped from proceeding toward the Governor's residence. The police had put up barricades within a radius of about one kilometer from the assembly premises. The BJP also staged a sit-in protest against the Mann government. BJP workers and leaders had planned to "gherao" Mann's official residence but the police stopped them from proceeding towards that side and used water cannons to disperse them.
The police also briefly detained some party leaders, including BJP state unit chief Ashwini Sharma and Sunil Jakhar. The BJP accused the AAP government of failing on all fronts and diverting people's attention from burning issues. Earlier in the day, the state cabinet decided that the government would move the Supreme Court against the governor's decision to cancel the session. Ahead of the cabinet meeting, Mann held a meeting with all AAP MLAs in the assembly complex here to decide the party's strategy.
After the meeting, Mann said in a video message, "The cabinet meeting was held here today in which it was unanimously decided that the session of the assembly will be held on September 27." Issues will be discussed. Mann later said in a statement that the state government would approach the Supreme Court against the governor's "arbitrary and undemocratic" decision to protect the democratic rights of the people and the federal rights of the states.
The chief minister also hit out at the Congress, accusing it of supporting the BJP's "Operation Lotus". Mann said, "Ironically, the biggest victim of such undemocratic action is that the Congress itself is standing with the BJP." "Stand together", aimed at toppling a democratically elected government. Meanwhile, SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia urged the Punjab Governor to get a sitting judge of the Supreme Court or High Court to probe into the allegations of offering money to AAP MLAs.
He said it should be clear in the probe whether any BJP leader or any middleman offered Rs 25 crore each to AAP MLAs to switch sides, he said. "If so, then action should be taken in the matter," said the former minister.