West Bengal Governor prorogues Assembly

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In an unprecedented move, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar prorogued the state Legislative Assembly from February 12, implying that the state government will have to take permission from the governor for the next session and it should begin with his speech.

“In exercise of the powers conferred upon me by sub-clause (a) of clause (2) of article 174 of the Constitution, I, Jagdeep Dhankhar, Governor of the State of West Bengal, hereby prorogue the West Bengal Legislative Assembly with effect from 12 February, 2022, the Governor in his order wrote.

Prorogation is discontinuing a session of Parliament or a legislative Assembly without dissolving it.

The prorogation order before the important budget session which is likely to commence from the end of February or early March is significant because the ruling party was mulling to bring motion against Governor Dhankhar during the upcoming session, accusing him of interfering in the day-to-today activities of the state government.

According to constitutional experts, there is no instance in recent history that a Governor proroguing a session of the Assembly without the consent of the Speaker of Assembly or the Chief Minister of the state.

The move came after on Friday, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray had submitted a Substantive Motion under Rule 170 in the Rajya Sabha, urging President Ram Nath Kovind to remove Jagdeep Dhankhar as West Bengal Governor.

“This is an unprecedented move. The Governor has overstepped his constitutional duties because there should be a gap of six months between two sessions of the state Assembly. No Governor of the country has ever done this before. Earlier, he was not giving his consent to several bills and now, he has prorogued the Assembly. This is completely unjust. The state government should move the court against this,” Trinamool Congress MP said.

According to political experts, the order of prorogation is a result of the prolonged conflict between Dhankhar and the state government where the governor has repeatedly alleged that his letters are not replied, his queries are not answered and his constitutional authority is continuously undermined by the Speaker and the state government.

The governor had also alleged that the bureaucracy, including the chief secretary and the DGP, had failed to present themselves despite several reminders.

The rift between the governor and the chief minister reached a flashpoint after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently blocked the Governor on Twitter for purportedly tagging her in all of his posts, criticising her administration. The Governor has been targeting the state government over a host of issues and seeking information and reports regarding appointments to various posts.

Defending the decision, Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said: “He has the power to do this and he has exercised his power. This has been done because of the misrule of the state government and the continuous defiant stance taken by the administration.”

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