CHANDIGARH/NEW DELHI: Hours after Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann signed a knowledge sharing agreement with the Delhi government, Congress on Tuesday roasted the state government describing the agreement as an ‘instrument of surrender’.
The remarks came soon after Mann and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that a Knowledge Sharing Agreement has been signed between the state governments of Delhi and Punjab.
Addressing the media in New Delhi, Kejriwal said, “It is a new step in the history of India that we have signed an agreement to share knowledge. It is wrong to say that till now, only we have done good work.”
“We know that many state governments have done good work. But to date, we have not done the work of learning from each other. Several states chose to remain divided among the parties,” he added.
In a statement slamming the AAP government in Punjab, newly-appointed state Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring lashed out at Mann for his abject surrender to his Delhi counterpart Kejriwal in the name of the ‘Knowledge Sharing Agreement’.
“This is not an agreement, but simply an instrument of surrender,” Warring said.
The Punjab Congress chief also questioned the very logic behind such an agreement between the Chief Minister of a full-fledged state and that of a “semi-state”, like Delhi, smaller in size than the smallest district in Punjab, whose functions are limited mainly to local governance.
“The motive behind such an agreement thrust on Mann by Kejriwal is not lost on anyone, except him (Mann),” he said, adding that Kejriwal is simply trying to legitimise his extra-constitutional authority over Punjab, which cannot be allowed at any cost.
Warring said, normally agreements between the governments of two states are signed between the particular departments and carry the signatures of the respective departmental heads, who are senior IAS officers and not at the level of the Chief Minister.
Warring said, agreements, if and when signed are for specific purposes and are clearly spelt out. “The vague and ambiguous description in the agreement makes Kejriwal’s intentions obvious,” he said.
“This makes it obvious that Mann has surrendered his authority to Kejriwal in meek and abject subservience, which people of Punjab will neither accept nor forgive,” he warned.
Even Delhi Congress chief Chaudhary Anil Kumar slammed the Kejriwal-led AAP government in the national capital and said that the Knowledge Sharing Agreement between the governments of Punjab and Delhi is Kejriwal’s devious method to remote-control the Punjab government in an unconstitutional manner.
Kumar also said that the Delhi chief minister has begun back-room manoeuvres to remote-control the Punjab government by signing a “Knowledge Sharing Agreement between the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Government of Punjab” on Tuesday, which “enables the state to send and receive officials, ministers and other personnel to learn and share their knowledge, experience and skills for public welfare”, which is unconstitutional.
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