Chandigarh, June 22, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab has strongly criticized the Captain Amarinder Singh-led government in Punjab, for curtailing administrative and executive powers of the mayors in the state, terming it an attack on the established democratic system.
In a joint statement issued from party headquarters in Chandigarh on Monday, state core committee chairman Principal Budh Ram, chief spokesperson of the party Prof. Baljinder Kaur and Deputy Leader of Opposition Sarabjit Kaur Manuke (All MLAs) alleged that the Congress government in the saddle, though elected under a democratic system, had been virtually ‘hijacked’ by the powerful bureaucracy ruling the roost in the state.
Principal Budh Ram said that mayors of municipal corporations were elected under a set democratic system, constitutionally entrusting them with the powers of writing Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) of the Municipal Commissioners, implying that as per the protocol, the status of the mayor was higher to that of a commissioner, but the captain government had arbitrarily withdrawn their legitimate powers, invested in them by the Ministry of Local Government, thus depriving the mayors of their right to write the Commissioner’s ACR. This, he said, had left nothing to speculation that the ‘steering’ of the Punjab government was in the hands of bureaucracy.
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Bibi Sarabjit Kaur Manuke on the occasion said that earlier in the Chief Secretary-Minister tangle, Capt. Amarinder Singh had forced his ministers to buckle down under the pressure of the mighty bureaucracy, saying that now the mayors were brought in the line of firing.
Prof Baljinder Kaur said that as the Narendra Modi government at the Centre was continuously trying to demolish the federal structure of the country by depriving the states of their legitimate rights, similarly, the Captain government had been at snatching away the rights of Municipal Councils, Municipal Corporations and Panchayati Raj institutions, which was a cause of grave concern, she said.
The AAP leaders said that since it was a matter of democratic propriety, if the mayors of the municipal corporations would take a clear stand on the restoration of their powers, the Aam Aadmi Party would be free to support the cause the struggling mayors.