Reviving the decades-old demand, the Punjab legislative Assembly on Friday passed a resolution to transfer Chandigarh to the state.
Moving the resolution in a special one-day session, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said Punjab was reorganised through the Punjab Reorganisation Act of 1966, wherein Punjab was reorganised into the state of Haryana, Union Territory of Chandigarh and some parts of Punjab were given to the then Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh.
The resolution requested the Central government to honour the principles of federalism enshrined in the Constitution and not to take any steps which may disturb the balance in the administration of Chandigarh and that of other common assets like the BBMB (Bhakra Beas Management Board).
It said through many of its recent actions, the Central government has been trying to upset this balance. “Most recently, the Central government has advertised the posts of members of Bhakra Beas Management Board to officers of all states and Central government, whereas these posts were traditionally filled by the officers from Punjab and Haryana.”
Similarly, the Chandigarh administration has always been managed by the officers of Punjab and Haryana in the ratio of 60:40.
“However, recently the Central government has posted outside officers to Chandigarh and has introduced Central Civil Service Rules for the employees of the Chandigarh administration, which goes completely against the understanding in the past,” said the Chief Minister.
“Chandigarh city was created as the capital of Punjab. In all past precedents, whenever a state has been divided, the capital remains with the parent state.
“Punjab, therefore, has been laying its claim for complete transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab. In the past, this House has passed a number of resolutions urging the Central government to transfer Chandigarh to Punjab.
“For maintaining harmony and taking the sentiments of people into account, this House once again recommends to the state government to raise the matter with the Central government to immediately transfer Chandigarh to Punjab,” he added.
At the time of reorganisation of Punjab in 1966, Chandigarh assumed the unique distinction of being the capital of both Punjab and Haryana, even as it was declared a union territory and was placed under the direct control of the Centre.