Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday came down heavily on Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee, accusing him of transgressing constitutional norms and not providing information sought by him.
The speaker, on his part, termed Dhankhar’s outburst as “uncalled for”.
The governor also criticised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for allegedly failing to provide answer to his queries on various occasions.
“The speaker…. he thinks he has the license to talk anything about the governor,” Dhankhar told reporters after paying floral tributes at the statue of B R Ambedkar on the Assembly premises ahead of Republic Day.
He claimed that on several occasions, the speaker did not give him with information sought, including details of the Assembly resolution on extension of BSF’s area of operation.
Dhankhar said that his address in the Assembly was blacked out twice.
“Does he not know Article 168 — governor is number one in the legislature, second in the House…. I will not withstand such indiscretions, unconstitutional work. The speaker shall not henceforth blackout address of the governor. If he does so, he will face music of law,” Dhankhar said on the lawns of the Assembly as the speaker stood a few feet behind him.
He asserted that no file was pending with him with respect to any bill or government recommendation.
On the occasion of National Voters’ Day on Tuesday, he claimed that people in West Bengal do not have the freedom to exercise their franchise freely and fearlessly.
“We have seen post-poll violence of unprecedented level, those who dared to vote according to their own volition had to pay the price with their life,” Dhankhar said.
Maintaining that a fact-finding committee appointed by the chairman of National Human Rights Commission, on the order of the Calcutta High Court, had observed that rule of the ruler and not the law prevails in the state, the governor said, “This is an understatement; West Bengal’s situation is so horrible and frightening that there is horror about the ruler here.”
Reacting to Dhankhar’s accusations soon after, Banerjee said it was “extremely uncourteous” of the governor to make such criticisms on the Assembly complex after paying floral tributes to Ambedkar.
“The hon’ble governor had come to pay tribute to B R Ambedkar, it was not known to us that he will be utilising this platform for a press conference. This is totally unwarranted and uncourteous.
“Assembly is such a place where he will work within his jurisdiction and I will within mine,” the speaker contended.
Banerjee said that the Howrah Municipal Corporation bifurcation bill was still awaiting approval, and the state has no information about the President rejecting its lynching-related bill, which the governor claimed to have happened.
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