Budget session begins in Bengal without governor's speech

Wednesday 07th February 2024 06:00 EST

Kolkata: The Budget session of the Bengal Assembly started on Monday without the conventional speech by governor C V Ananda Bose amid apprehensions of a fresh round of confrontation between the Mamata Banerjee government and Raj Bhavan.

Multiple officials and senior legislators claimed in recent memory this was the first time that a Budget session in the Bengal Assembly started without a speech by the governor. "It is conventional that every Budget session starts with the governor's speech. This year the convention was not followed," said a source in the Assembly.

Though the office of Bose did not release any statement on it, multiple sources confirmed that Raj Bhavan was contemplating "action" for the breach in convention.

"No budget session can begin without the speech of the governor and it did not happen earlier. Raj Bhavan is observing the developments and contemplating its further course of action," said a source in Raj Bhavan.
Speaker Biman Banerjee, when asked about the reason behind starting the Budget session without the governor's speech, said he would speak on the issue inside the House. "Whatever I have to say about the governor's speech, will say inside the House," he told mediapersons.

Several veteran Trinamool legislators claimed that the governor's speech was not necessary because the previous session had been adjourned sine die and the House was only reconvened on Monday.
"There is no controversy or questions over the governor's speech as the session was a continuation of the earlier session. If an ongoing session was not dissolved, then there is no question of starting it with the speech," said Manas Bhuniya, a senior MLA and minister in Mamata Banerjee's cabinet.
However, a senior official at Raj Bhavan raised the question of how the state government can present two Budgets in a financial year if the Budget session was a continuation of the previous one.
The official said: "We have two questions. First, if it is a fresh Budget session, then how it was started without the governor's speech? Second, if it was a continuation of its earlier session, then how the state government can pass two budgets in a year?" "The government is yet to send the Budget copy to governor," he added.

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