Opposition questions Mann’s silence on Haryana’s land swap proposal
While AAP has taken a stand that it would not allow an inch of land to be given to Haryana, Mann’s silence is reminiscent of his earlier stand seeking a piece of land for Punjab to construct state’s Vidhan Sabha
Amid a controversy over Haryana seeking a 10-acre plot in Chandigarh to build its Vidhan Sabha in exchange of a similar piece of land in Panchkula, and the Opposition parties opposing it, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann has been silent on the issue.
While all political outfits have criticised Haryana’s demand, Mann’s silence on the issue is being watched. While AAP has taken a stand that it would not allow an inch of land to be given to Haryana, Mann’s silence is reminiscent of his earlier stand seeking a piece of land for Punjab to construct state’s Vidhan Sabha.
On July 9, Mann had tweeted that Punjab too should be given a piece of land to set up its own Vidhan Sabha on the lines of Haryana. Mann’s tweet had evoked sharp reaction from Opposition as Punjab has a claim on Chandigarh as capital of parent state before reorganisation.
The Opposition had stated that Mann had diluted Punjab’s right by tweeting a demand. No AAP leader had come to support Mann then.
Later, Mann had defended himself, when he had stated, “Have I given in writing that we have no claim over Chandigarh? Already their assembly is in Chandigarh. If more land is being given to them, then why should we not be considered? Who is speaking on the issue? It is Sukhbir Badal, who shifted all the offices of Punjab to Mohali because he had his own land there, who came up with New Chandigarh. Many times Parkash Singh Badal was the the chief minister in Punjab when the BJP was in power in Delhi. Why didn’t they talk about it then?”
As Haryana had demanded 10 acres two days ago, the Opposition parties opposed the move. AAP state chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang issued a statement saying that Chandigarh belongs to Punjab and will always remain so. He said that Chandigarh was established on the land of dozens of villages of Punjab.
He said that AAP party and Punjab governments will vehemently oppose any proposal of the Haryana government to build its separate legislative assembly in Chandigarh.
“The Haryana government has sought land for its separate legislative assembly in Chandigarh.
On the demand for land, the Aam Aadmi Party has categorically said that not an inch of land in Chandigarh will be given separately to Haryana.
Haryana should form its legislative assembly in Panchkula, Karnal or elsewhere. Punjab has the sole right over Chandigarh,” Kang wrote in a tweet.
Mann has been campaigning in Delhi. A party leader said that when AAP has cleared its stand on Chandigarh, Mann’s silence does not mean much, “There is nothing to read. He is busy in Gujarat. The party has taken a stand. CM is also a member of the party. If AAP is issuing a statement, it means the CM is also of the same view,” a leader said on anonymity.
Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that Haryana’s land swap proposal for constructing the Vidhan Sabha building is fraught with the danger of disturbing the ”already worrisome” law and order situation in Punjab.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has also called a meeting of its senior leaders later this week to decide the party’s strategy on the issue.