Punjab Governor rejects AAP govt's choice for university vice-chancellor

Governor rejects the proposal to appoint Gurpreet Singh Wander as VC. Instead, asks the state government to send a list of three names for the post.

Gurpreet Singh Wander rejected as VC of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences. (Picture: Official Website)Gurpreet Singh Wander rejected as VC of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences. (Picture: Official Website)

Press Trust of India | October 11, 2022 | 10:57 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit has refused to approve the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s pick as the new vice chancellor of Faridkot’s Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, amid a tussle between him and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.

Sources said the Governor sent back the file with the proposal to appoint noted cardiologist Dr Gurpreet Singh Wander as VC. Instead, he has asked the state government to send a list of three names for the post. The Punjab chief minister had recently taken to Twitter to make the announcement. The fresh development came days after Governor Purohit had taken an exception to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann skipping a reception held in the honour of President Droupadi Murmu, who was on her maiden visit to Chandigarh.

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Mann while interacting with reporters on the sidelines of a meeting here on Tuesday was asked if it is becoming "AAP government versus the Governor" on many issues. He replied by saying that there are no differences between the state government and Purohit. He said the Punjab government is fighting a battle against inflation, unemployment, corruption and mafia, and added that it has cordial ties with the Governor. "There are no issues with the Punjab Governor. We respect him," he said. When asked that the Governor has refused to approve the state government’s choice for the VC’s post, Mann said if he has desired, the state government will send a panel of three names for appointment.

He, however, said the tradition is that the Governor gives consent to the name proposed by the government. In August, CM Mann had accepted the resignation of Dr Raj Bahadur, who had quit from the post after being "humiliated" at the hands of Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra. In July, Jouramajra had come under fire from several quarters after he was seen forcing Dr Bahadur to lie on a dirty mattress at a hospital. Prior to this, there had been a squabble between the Governor and AAP government over holding a session of the Punjab Assembly.

The Governor had withdrawn the permission to hold a special session on September 22 after seeking legal opinion when the AAP government wanted to bring a confidence motion only in the House. Later, the Governor gave his nod only after the government provided details of the legislative business.

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