Bengal oath-taking impasse ends, 2 TMC MLAs sworn in

Wednesday 10th July 2024 07:44 EDT

Kolkata: The impasse over the swearing-in of two newly elected Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs in West Bengal ended with Legislative Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee administering the oath to Sayantika Banerjee of Baranagar and Reyat Houssen Sarkar from Bhagawangola.

Though West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose had deputed Deputy Speaker Ashish Banerjee to administer the oath, he refused to do so, saying “it does not seem good that Deputy Speaker is administering oath while Speaker is present”.

During a Business Advisory committee meeting before the Assembly session, the Speaker had a talk with the Deputy Speaker, following which he agreed to administer the oath. But when the session began, the Deputy Speaker said the Speaker should administer the oath as he was present.

Eventually, violating the Governor’s directive, the Speaker administered the oath to the two MLAs. The face-off between the TMC government and Governor Bose over the swearing-in ceremony began in the second week of June after the Governor asked the two MLAs to come to the Raj Bhavan for the oath-taking ceremony and they refused.

The Governor, who normally assigns either the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker to give oath to the legislators, sent a letter inviting the MLAs to take oath at the Raj Bhavan on June 26. However, the letter reportedly did not mention who would administer the oath.

This led the TMC to announce that it would not attend the swearing-in ceremony. “It is insulting to a people’s representative. The letter (from Raj Bhavan) only mentioned that a person who will be selected by the governor will administer the oath. This is unprecedented in a democratic system. We will not attend the ceremony,” state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said.

The two newly elected MLAs then started a protest at the Assembly demanding that Governor Bose come to the Assembly to administer the oath or assign the Speaker to take up the task. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also launched a scathing attack against the Governor for the delay in the swearing-in ceremony.

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