Kolkata, Dec 10 (IANS) The stand-offs between West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the Trinamool Congress continued to echo in the Assembly as the TMC legislators held protests in the premises decrying Raj Bhavan’s delay in clearing vital legislations.
While the TMC lawmakers accused Dhankhar of holding back crucial Bills, the Governor dismissed the protests as ‘dirty politics’.
The slogan-shouting MLAs gathered near the B.R. Ambedkar’s statue in the Assembly premises holding placards denouncing the Governor for stalling passage of key legislations, particularly the West Bengal State Commission for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Bill, 2019.
They said important Bills could not be tabled in the House with Dhankhar refusing to give the nod.
Meanwhile, the Governor sent a communication to Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee under Article 338 and 338A of the Constitution arguing that the field (of the Bill) has been occupied by the National Commission for Scheduled Caste and National Commission for Schedule Tribe.
In the six-page communication, Dhankhar said he always accorded the highest priority to legislative work, but the officials were yet to respond to certain questions he had raised about the Bill.
Charging the TMC with trying to derive political mileage over the developments, Dhankhar said, “That they have involved the Assembly in this is most unfortunate”.
On the other hand, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chaterjee said the Governor has not given his assent for tabling the Bill despite the government speaking to him on numerous occasions. “The Raj Bhawan is only calling our officers and raising several questions,” Chatterjee said.
On the other hand, a rule was laid on the floor of the House allegedly curbing the powers of the Governor as Chancellor of the state universities. However, the government denied that the rule will impact the chancellors’ powers.
The run-ins between Dhankhar and the state government saw the Speaker adjourn the House for two days last week arguing that the House didn’t have enough legislative business in the absence of the go-ahead from the Governor to table legislations.
Again, when the Governor visited the assembly on December 5, he took exception to a “deathly silence” greeting him after failing to enter through the gate earmarked for him as it was locked. The governor had then described the chain of events as “threat to democracy” and a “shame”.
Within hours, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee signalled an all out war against Dhankhar, as she accused him of running a parallel administration and withholding permission before even introduction of bills in the Assembly.