Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today moved a resolution in the Assembly, calling for the immediate transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab, accusing the center of trying to “upset the balance” in administering the Union Territory.
The big move by Mr Mann two weeks after he took over as Chief Minister came amid ongoing tussles between the center and Punjab for control of the Union Territory which serves as the capital of neighboring Punjab and Haryana.
At the heart of this tussle is a central tweaked service rules for Chandigarh administration employees, giving them the same benefits as their counterparts in the central government.
In his notice for the resolution, Mr Mann had said that under the Punjab Restructuring Act 1966, the state of Punjab was reorganized into the state of Haryana, the Union Territory of Chandigarh and some parts of Punjab were given to the Union Territory of Himachal at that time. Pradesh.
“Since then, the balance has been mentioned in joint asset administration like Bhakra Beas Management Board by way of giving management posts at certain rates to Punjab and Haryana State candidates. Through many recent actions, the Central Government is trying to upset this balance, “he said in the notice.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the center has advertised the posts of members of the Bhakra Beas Management Board, which are traditionally filled by officials from Punjab and Haryana, to officials of all states and the central government.
“Similarly, the Chandigarh administration has always been managed by Punjab and Haryana officials in a 60:40 ratio. However, recently the Central Government has sent outside officials to Chandigarh and has introduced the Central Public Service Rules for employees of the Chandigarh Administration, which is completely opposite with understanding in the past, “he said in the notice.
The latest tussle began after Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced last week that Chandigarh administration workers would get the same benefits as their counterparts working in the Central government, with Opposition parties in the state claiming that this would dilute Punjab’s claims against Chandigarh and it would happen . against the spirit of federalism.
The ruling AAP, which seized power in Punjab in the recent elections, claimed that this was a panic reaction by the BJP after the poll results. Congress and Akali Dal also opposed the move.
The Punjab government will fight hard for a “legitimate claim against Chandigarh”, Chief Minister Mann said earlier.
In his announcement, Mr Shah had said that the retirement age of workers in Chandigarh would be raised from 58 to 60 years and women workers would get childcare leave for two years, up from the current year.
He said these benefits were a “long -awaited demand” of Chandigarh administration workers.
The new service rules were announced on Tuesday and will replace the initial set of rules starting tomorrow.