The Centre on Thursday shelved its proposal to appoint retired 1979 batch IAS officer K J Alphons as Administrator of Chandigarh and appointed Governor-designate of Punjab V P Singh Badnore to the post. The move is seen as an appeasement by the centre of its NDA ally Akali Dal and opposition parties in poll-bound Punjab.
The appointment of Alphons would have reversed the 32-year-old system of Punjab governor being the Chandigarh administrator.
The Centre’s U-turn came after all the political parties approached Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asking him to review the decision to appoint Alphons as it would effectively take away the powers of the Governor of Punjab over Chandigarh and may not be in the larger interest of the state.
If the proposal to appoint Alphons, who is known as “demolition man”, was meant to signal that the centre would not allow illegal construction in the UT city, the dropping shows the central government kowtowed to political lobbies who have immensely benefited from the slow and steady degradation of the city.
The move to appoint Alphons did not go down well with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who argued that his state will never allow its legitimate right over the capital and other Punjabi speaking areas to be compromised or diluted.