Punjab, Hry Raj Bhawans to coalesce for National Guv’s Conference

DW Bureau | Chandigarh

The Adviser to Chandigarh’s Administrator, Parimal Rai has written to the Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Haryana seeking their cooperation and coordination between the two states and the Union Territory to host the National Conference of Governors from May 18 to 20. The congregation of Governors at New Delhi addressed by various dignitaries, including the President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister is an annual ritual.

This time, however, keeping in view the underlying spirit of cooperative federalism, Chandigarh has been chosen as the venue to host the National Governors’ Conference.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been emphasising the necessity of making the interaction as well as presentations in the Governors’ Conference, both relevant and meaningful, rather than the perfunctory ones as was done in the past, the selection of Chandigarh as venue signifies not only the maturity of the City Beautiful as potential venue for national and international conferences, but is also seen as a huge vote of confidence in the UT Administrator and his entire team.

Chandigarh has already received the unique distinction of successfully organising the Second World Yoga Day led by the Prime Minister himself and Modi receiving the French President Francois Hollande here in 2016 during his maiden visit to India.

Talking to Daily World here, Chandigarh’s Home Secretary Anurag Aggarwal said that protocol aspects of the three-day conference apart, the organisation of such a mega event calls for a massive logistical coordination and synchronised effort. The Administration has already initiated a exercise in conjunction with Punjab and Haryana governments to host the conclave.

“On the directions of the Governor, the Adviser has written to both Punjab and Haryana Governments for their support, whereas an Apex Committee under the chairmanship of the Governor Shri V P Singh Badnore has been set up to look into each aspect of the conference. Over half a dozen other committees have also been formed to ensure proper accommodation, transportation, food, medical help for the dignitaries and facilitate the media.” The UT Administration has also sought the list of officers from both the states for further coordinating the visits of the dignitaries, he added.

The Organizing Committee, he said, has representatives from the Governments of Punjab, Haryana, UT Administration, police besides the officials from the Raj Bhawans of Punjab and Haryana. “We shall be making the arrangements in full coordination with Rashtrapati Bhawan officers who are likely to visit the city to review the preparedness. Our idea would be to ensure minimum inconvenience to the public at large during the three days,” the Home Secretary informed.

Since the venue of the conclave will be the two Raj Bhawans and the UT Guest House, the challenge for the Administration would be to integrate the existing facilities at the Punjab and Haryana Raj Bhawans and the UT Guest House so that the main venue of the conference as well as the stay arrangements of the dignitaries can be made in the same contiguous complex. Aggarwal said a plan has been worked out to break down the intervening walls between these three iconic buildings so that the entire venue becomes one organic whole.

While the agenda of the conference has not yet been finalised, the Governors would surely be exposed to Union Cabinet Ministers holding important portfolios and senior Central Government officers who would be making presentations to them on various topics. Of course, the key point of discussion will be the role of Governors in case there is a breakdown of constitutional machinery as envisaged in Article 356 of the Constitution, official sources said.

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