KOLKATA: A dramatic set of events unfolded at the West Bengal Legislative Assembly after Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was forced to wait outside the House as the gate designated for VIP entry was locked and the staff were nowhere to be found. He later entered through Gate 2, the one open for the public, perhaps to prove a point.
This is a “sad day for democracy” and “has put us to shame”, he remarked, ratcheting up the discord between the state secretariat Nabanna and the Raj Bhavan. While coming out he said, “Is it right that the Assembly gate meant for the governor’s entry should be closed? This has put us to shame. I will write to the Speaker that this shouldn’t have happened. This is not befitting to the office of the governor.” The state government has been clear about its reservations on the governor’s “public outreach”. “There is a deliberate effort to create anarchy. Let him (governor) give us advice, we will accept it. We believe in coexistence and not in confrontation. What’s the use of visiting places? Government expenses towards Raj Bhavan have gone up to £700,000,” said state parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee. CM Mamata Banerjee too criticised the governor’s role, saying there is “an effort to run a parallel administration in the state”.
Governor invites Mamata for talks
Meanwhile, the Governor has invited the Chief Minister for discussions on "topics at her chosen time and place." Dhankar visited the state assembly to pay floral tributes to Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar on his 63rd death anniversary. This comes a day after Dhankar expressed his anger on finding the gate designated for the Governor to be locked upon his arrival at the Assembly.
After paying homage to Ambedkar inside the premises of the Assembly, Dhankar addressed media and said, "What happened yesterday pained me." I have written to the Chief Minister on having a discussion on the topics at her chosen time and place. I have also spoken to her over the phone," Dhankar said. He had also lashed out at Banerjee, stating that she had failed to perform constitutional duties for the last four months, and has never briefed the governor about important issues, including the cyclone ''Bulbul''. Mamata hit back at the Governor saying that she will fight back. "Look at my state, just for the introduction of Bills, my house is adjourned. I will fight I don't have any problem," Mamata said while attending the inaugural programmes of Infocom in Kolkata.
The West Bengal assembly was adjourned for two days as the Speaker Biman Bannerjee said bills meant to be tabled had not been approved by the Governor. Since he took office in July, Dhankar has been at loggerheads with the CM over several issues.