'Democracy is over': AAP reacts as Punjab Governor turns down demand for assembly session

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reacted to the Punjab Governor withdrawing an order by the AAP government to hold a special assembly session and said democracy is over.

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Arvind Kejriwal asked how can a Governor refuse an Assembly session approved by a state cabinet. (Photo: PTI)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday reacted sharply to Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit turning down a demand by the state government to hold a special assembly session to introduce a confidence motion. Democracy is over, said AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet.

The Delhi Chief Minister tweeted, "How can the governor refuse a session called by the cabinet? Then democracy is over. Two days ago, the Governor gave permission for the session. When Operation Lotus started failing and the number was not completed, a call came from above asking to withdraw the permission."

The Governor withdrew the order to summon a special session on September 22, due to “absence of specific rules” to do so.

READ | Punjab Governor cancels Assembly session called by AAP govt to pass confidence motion

Earlier, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had announced that a special session of the assembly would be convened, days after the ruling AAP accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to poach its MLAs and topple its government in Punjab.

Reacting to the Governor's decision, AAP leader Raghav Chadha said, "Governor's withdrawal order raises a serious question mark on his intent. It is beyond any reasonable understanding as to why there should be any objection to a government's decision to face the assembly?"

Earlier, leader of the opposition Partap Singh Bajwa, Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma had approached the Governor, arguing that there was no legal provision to convene a special session of the assembly to just move a 'confidence motion' in favour of the state government.

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The AAP in a statement also said that Congress leader Pratap Bajwa was acting on the instructions of Home Minister Amit Shah and not Rahul Gandhi.

"For 70 years, the Congress and the BJP together have killed the democratically-elected governments. The Governor had no right to interfere in the works of an elected government. AAP has always been fighting against oppressive policies and will continue to fight," the party said.

Meanwhile, the Akali Dal welcomed the Governor's move and said Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann's game plan has been scuttled.

"Rather than resigning after being exposed, he [Mann] had resorted to diversionary tactics. If he was concerned about bribery charges, he should have sought/requested a CBI or HC probe. We welcome the decision as it saved crores of rupees of public exchequer," Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said, calling the confidence motion an AAP PR exercise.

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