Raghav Chadha’s ‘Summoning’ of Newly Appointed Chairpersons of Boards in Punjab Sparks Fresh Row

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Triggering a fresh row, Congress on Friday raised questions over Rajya Sabha member and senior AAP leader Raghav Chadha’s ‘summoning’ of newly appointed chairmen of government boards and corporations for a meeting.

Senior Congress leader and Punjab’s Leader of Opposition (LoP) Partap Singh Bajwa sought a clarification from Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and questioned the AAP MP’s authority over convening of the meeting. Bajwa said CM Mann should define and explain Chadha’s role in Punjab’s state affairs.

“Is Raghav Chadha just a Rajya Sabha member or holds an extra-constitutional authority to convene meetings of the chairmen? Under what authority Raghav Chadha is holding such interactions especially when Bhagwant Mann being the chief minister, has still not held even a single gathering of the chairmen”, said Bajwa.

Raising concerns over power structures within the AAP-led Punjab government, Bajwa questioned whether the situation is that of Chadha administering a “parallel government” within the state government without holding any constitutional or legal sanctity.

Bajwa also criticised Mann for his continued absence from Punjab and accused him of “completely abandoning the state on the wishes of his political master Arvind Kejriwal as the latter was keener on contesting polls in Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana.”

Chadha had met the newly appointed chairpersons of boards and corporations in Punjab on Wednesday and asked them to work hard to bring back the lost glory of the state. “People have shown faith in us and we are duty-bound to work for their welfare,” AAP spokesman quoted Chadha as saying.

Later in a tweet, he said, “Met with the newly appointed chairpersons of Punjab Government’s boards and corporations. Had a fruitful discussion on several issues pertaining to governance of the state. I conveyed my best wishes to each of them for a successful tenure.”

Congress has been raising questions over Chadha’s role in state affairs and have alleged that the MP was acting as an `extra-constitutional authority’ in the state, a charge denied by the Mann government.

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