Will not use govt helicopter till I am in Punjab: Governor


Chandigarh, June 21 (IANS) In a war of words between Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the former on Wednesday hit back at the latter on the official use of government helicopter, saying he would not use it.

“I will not use helicopter till I am in Punjab,” the Governor told the media here.

“I have been given a helicopter. I used it for official duty and not for personal use and visited the border area in which Punjab officials also accompanied me. Now, I have announced that as long as I am in Punjab, I will not use the Punjab government’s helicopter,” Purohit said in a specially organised press briefing.

Justifying his decision, Purohit said that the Chief Minister mocked him in the Assembly and said that the governor “is writing so many love letters”.

“These are the words of a CM. The Governor has the right to seek information from the CM regarding the affairs of the state. I have not asked for his personal details. He has to reply to all my letters as per the Constitution and the Supreme Court order,” the Governor added.

A day earlier, the Assembly unanimously passed the Punjab University Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023, vesting the powers of the Chancellor of state universities with the Chief Minister.

Summarising the debate on the floor of the House, the Chief Minister said the state had its own rich culture, traditions and heritage which need to be perpetuated among the younger generations. For this, the educational institutions, especially the universities, could play a vital role. Mann also recalled how the universities had produced great intellectuals, artists and other eminent people in various fields.

The Chief Minister said that to carry forward the legacy, men of high integrity, prudence and repute need to be appointed in the universities as Vice-Chancellors.

However, he bemoaned that the Governor, who is not from the state and “not aware of its history and culture, created unnecessary hurdles” in it.

Mann further said it was surprising that the Governor “knew nothing about the state, but was empowered to appoint the Vice-Chancellors, which was unfair”.

Purohit and Mann have been at loggerheads for several months now.

Last week, the governor wrote to Mann asking him to respond to multiple letters that he had written seeking information on various issues, including on the appointment of Vice-Chancellors for various universities.

In his letter, Purohit told Mann that the Supreme Court had made it clear that the Governor was well within his rights to seek information from the Chief Minister and that by not doing so, Mann would be failing in fulfilling his constitutional duty.

Mann replied to him through a tweet in which he claimed that it was the Governor who “failed to do his constitutional duty when he refused to refer” to his government as “my government” during his address to the Punjab Assembly on the first day of the budget session.


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