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Punjab row: Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann snubs Governor, says the elected' trump those selected'

A day after Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit questioned Bhagwant Mann over the selection of school principals for a foreign trip, the CM on Tuesday said only elected representatives should take decisions and the "selected" ones keep off.

Mann had delivered a similar snub Monday to the Governor after he sent a letter seeking details of the selection process for a recent trip by 36 government school principals to take part in a training seminar in Singapore, saying he had received complaints of "malpractices".

Purohit had said he would seek legal advice for further action if Mann doesn't reply within a fortnight.

Without naming Purohit, Mann said Monday, "Only those elected by Punjab should take decisions. Only the elected should do this, not the selected ones who unnecessarily interfere."

"In a democracy, the elected are higher. The selected could be anyone," he said at a training session for new legislators.

"We also know the law," the CM said, "We will reply to them through the same law with which they stop us."

The comments marked an escalation in the tussle between the Governor and the chief minister, who assumed power after the Aam Aadmi Party swept the Punjab Assembly polls last year.

Mann's initial reply Monday to the Governor's letter was through a tweet.

"According to the Constitution, I and my government are accountable to three crore Punjabis and not any governor appointed by the central government. Treat this as my reply," he had tweeted in Punjabi.

Purohit had told Mann that he "never cared to reply" to his letters in the past.

The Governor listed the "illegal" appointment of Punjab Agricultural University vice-chancellor and the promotion of an IPS officer who was shunted out for alleged misconduct among the issues on which he had sought explanations earlier.

Purohit also wanted details on the appointed of Gurinderjit Singh Jawanda as chairman of Punjab Information and Communication and Technology Corporation Ltd, referring to allegations that he was named in a kidnapping and property grab case.

The Punjab government had sent 36 government school principals to Singapore from February 6 to 10.

Citing complaints he had received, the Governor asked the CM to send details about the money spent on the exercise.

Purohit told the chief minister that people did not elect him to run the state according to his "whims and fancies" and that under the Constitution, he is "bound" to furnish any information sought by Raj Bhavan.

AAP MP Raghav Chadha termed Purohit's letter a "blatant threat" to the Punjab government.

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