Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Saturday asked Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa to clarify his party's stand on the Himachal Pradesh government's "claim" over Chandigarh.
Mann's remarks came after some media reports suggested that the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh is seeking a share in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
In a statement, the Punjab chief minister said the "stoic silence" of Bajwa over the issue is surprising. "Bajwa must clear the stand of his party over the false claim made by the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh," said Mann said.
He said that it is shameful that these leaders change their stance on the interests of the state for their political benefits in other states. "Chandigarh is, Chandigarh was and Chandigarh will always be an integral part of the state," the Punjab chief minister said, adding that the state government is firmly committed to safeguard the interests of the state and its people.
In a statement, AAP leader Malvinder Singh Kang said only Punjab has all the rights on Chandigarh that was built by depopulating its villages. "But unfortunately, during the sixties, the Congress government at the Centre cheated Punjab by giving parts of Chandigarh to Haryana," he alleged.
In 1966, Haryana was carved out of Punjab, and Chandigarh was made the joint capital of the two states. The Central government made Chandigarh a union territory under the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, and its administration came directly under the Centre.