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Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit withdrew his order summoning a special session on Thursday for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to move a confidence motion. The Punjab governor withdrew an earlier order calling the special session on Thursday, saying it had sought legal opinion after the Congress and the BJP approached him arguing that the House rules did not allow it.

Following the governor's decision, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann called a meeting of AAP MLAs on Thursday morning in the Assembly complex to decide the next course of action.

The governor had permitted September 20 for summoning the special session on September 22. His latest order withdraws that permission.

"In absence of the specific rules regarding summoning of the assembly for considering the 'confidence motion' only called by the Punjab government on September 22, through a special session of 16th Punjab Vidhan Sabha, I Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Punjab, hereby withdraw my orders dated September 20, regarding summoning the 16th Vidhan Sabha of the state of Punjab to meet for its third (special) session at 11 am on Thursday, September 22, in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha hall, Vidhan Bhavan, Chandigarh," the latest order read.

The special session was called by the Mann-led AAP in Punjab government amid a political slugfest with the BJP.

The AAP had sought to prove its majority through a confidence motion in the Assembly, days after it alleged that the BJP was trying to bring down its government in Punjab by poaching its MLAs.

The opposition BJP and the Congress had slammed the AAP move, accusing it of indulging in "theatrics" to divert the attention of people from its "failures". They asked why the AAP needed to move a trust vote when nobody had claimed that it had lost the majority in the House.

Meanwhile, AAP supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slammed Governor Banwarilal Purohit for withdrawing from the assembly session. Kejriwal called the governor's decision a "murder of democracy".

The AAP had recently claimed that at least 10 of its MLAs were approached by the BJP with an offer of 25 crore to each in a bid to topple the six-month-old government under its "Operation Lotus".

“How can the government refuse to convene a session requested by the cabinet? Then this is the end of democracy. The government permitted the session two days back. When it appeared that Operation Lotus was failing and they did not have the numbers, then instructions were issued from above to withdraw the permission. On one side in the country today is the Constitution, on the other, Operation Lotus," said Kejriwal in a post on Twitter.

With 92 MLAs, the AAP has an overwhelming majority in the 117-member Punjab Assembly while the Congress has 18, SAD three, BJP two, and BSP one. The Assembly also has an Independent member.

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