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Punjab govt to hold Assembly session on Sept 27; AAP MLAs take out march

Bhagwant Mann convened an emergency cabinet and MLA meeting Thursday

bhagwant mann pti Bhagwant Mann | PTI

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has said that his cabinet will hold a regular session of the Legislative Assembly on September 27.  The decision was taken at an emergency cabinet meeting convened by Mann on Thursday.

The Punjab chief minister called the cabinet meeting after Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday withdrew his order summoning a special Assembly session for the AAP govt to move a confidence motion. Before the cabinet meeting, an emergency meeting of AAP MLAs was also held. 

"In the Cabinet meeting, it has been decided to convene an Assembly session on September 27.  Issues like electricity and stubble burning will be discussed," Mann was quoted by ANI.

He added that the AAP will approach the Supreme Court against the cancellation of the Assembly session by the governor. "The Congress has been exposed for having a quid pro quo with the BJP. They have welcomed the governor’s orders," Mann told reporters after the cabinet meeting, adding that AAP "will not be cowed down." 

Mann is likely to table the confidence motion in the next week's session, sources told The Indian Express. 

The AAP MLAs also held a peace march from Vidhan Sabha to Raj Bhawan to protest against the governor’s orders. The legislative members carried placards with messages of "Stop murder of democracy" and "Operation Lotus murdabad' during the march, which was stopped from approaching the governor's residence. The police had put up barricades around one km from the Vidhan Sabha complex. The protesting MLAs sat down where they were stopped and started shouting slogans against Congress and BJP.

The AAP MLAs also lashed out at the governor for withdrawing his earlier order of calling the special session on Thursday. "It (not allowing a special session) is completely unjustified. The state government can call the assembly session," Lambi MLA Gurmeet Singh Khudian told PTI. He alleged that the governor "at the behest of higher-ups" decided to cancel the session. "The BJP is doing wrong and democracy is in danger," Khudian alleged.

AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal slammed the governor for not allowing the assembly session, saying it raises a big question about the country's democracy. Purohit withdrew his order summoning a special assembly session on September 22 for the AAP govt to move a confidence motion citing the absence of specific rules on summoning the assembly for considering only a confidence motion. 

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