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Punjab vs Haryana Over New Assembly Building? Oppn Criticises Mann For 'Weakening' Claim On Chandigarh


After the announcement of separate building for Haryana Assembly in Chandigarh, CM Mann asked Centre to allot land for Punjab Vidhan Sabha building. Punjab opposition leaders criticised this request.

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has announced land for setting up a separate building for Haryana Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar informed on Saturday. This has drawn reactions from neighbouring Punjab with CM Bhagwant Mann appealing to the Centre to allot land to Punjab in Chandigarh for setting up its own Vidhan Sabha building while also seeking a separate High Court. At present, the Punjab and Haryana governments share the Vidhan Sabha complex which is next to the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

"Fulfilling our demand for separate building of Haryana Vidhan Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced additional land for Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh. I, on behalf of the people of Haryana, thank the home minister," Khattar said in a tweet in Hindi.

After this, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann sought for the Union government to allot land to Punjab in Chandigarh for setting up its own Vidhan Sabha building. 

"My appeal to the Central Government is to allot land in Chandigarh to build its own assembly for Punjab on the lines of Haryana. There has been a long-standing demand that the Punjab and Haryana High Court should also be separated... For this also, the Central government should provide land in Chandigarh," Mann wrote in a tweet.

Punjab Opposition Leaders Oppose Move, Criticise Mann's Tweet

The announcement has also garnered criticism from Punjab opposition leaders who saw it as an attempt by the BJP-led Centre to disrespect Punjab's claim over the capital city of Chandigarh.

Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring took to Twitter and wrote, "Amit shah ji, by giving land to Haryana to establish exclusive Vidhan Sabha without involving process of due deliberations with all stakeholders, especially Punjab govt, there is attempt to bulldoze Punjab's sentiments about Chandigarh."

"It is important to halt the process and take us on board for further action," he wrote in a tweet.

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said, "I am shocked that someone who calls himself the Chief Minister of Punjab can issue statements to give up Punjab's widely acknowledged and inalienable right on its Capital, Chandigarh. The entire city belongs to Punjab and the Punjab CM is begging for a little space on our own land for Vidhan Sabha building. How can a Chief Minister of Punjab speak the language of Haryana on allotting land to Haryana?"

"It seems like a deep conspiracy is at work to rob Punjab of its legitimate rights. What a coincidence that Amit Shah, Manohar Lal Khattar and Bhagwant Mann are issuing identical statements on Chandigarh at the same time!" the former deputy CM alleged.

On Shah's statement, Badal wrote, "The Cente has no right to allot even an inch of Chandigarh to Haryana as the city belonged entirely, exclusively, and inalienably to Punjab and its status as a Union Territory is a strictly temporary arrangement pending its transfer to Punjab."

Congress leader Sukhpal Khaira told Mann that he was "weakening" Punjab's claims over Chandigarh by asking for land for the high court and Vidhan Sabha. "Chandigarh is ours and you should vehemently oppose the Center giving land to Haryana for the new Vidhan Sabha," Khaira wrote in a tweet in Punjabi. 

Haryana came into existence on November 1, 1966, but both the states have common buildings for the secretariat, Vidhan Sabha, and the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Haryana CM Khattar On Need For New Haryana Assembly Building

Amit Shah on Saturday chaired the Northern Zone Council meeting in Jaipur and Khattar was also one of the participants.

Elaborating the reasons necessitating a new additional building for the Haryana Assembly, CM Khattar told the Jaipur meeting that a new delimitation exercise is proposed in 2026 on the basis of which Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections would be held in 2029.

"It is estimated that according to the population of Haryana in the new delimitation, the number of assembly constituencies will be 126 and the number of Lok Sabha constituencies will be 14. At present, there are 90 MLAs in the Haryana Legislative Assembly. There is not enough space available in the existing building to even accommodate these 90 MLAs," he said, according to an official release issued.

It is also not possible to expand this building, because it is a heritage building, he added.

Apart from this, the Chief Minister also requested that the entire share of Haryana should be provided in the existing building also.

"Even after 56 years, we have not got our complete rights. The 24,630 square feet area in the Vidhan Sabha building was given to the Haryana Vidhan Sabha Secretariat. But the 20 rooms that came to our share are still in the possession of the Punjab Legislative Assembly," he stated, as quoted by news agency PTI.

"There is not enough space for our employees as well as for meetings of legislators, ministers, and committees. Therefore, we have demanded land from the Chandigarh Administration to construct an additional building for the smooth functioning of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha. The land has also been identified for this. The Home Minister is requested to intervene in this matter and get us land for the additional building of Haryana Vidhan Sabha," said the CM.

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