Jagdeep Dhankhar: “situation frightening” in Bengal; Speaker says Governor “uncourteous”

Post-poll violence at unprecedented level, alleges Dhankhar.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday criticised Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee, accusing him of transgressing constitutional norms and not providing information sought by him. The Speaker said the Governor’s “accusations” were “uncalled for”. Dhankhar also criticised the Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for allegedly failing to provide answer to his queries on various occasions.

On the occasion of National Voters’ Day, Dhankhar said that people in West Bengal do not have the freedom to exercise their franchise freely and fearlessly. “We have seen post-poll violence of unprecedented level, those who dared to vote according to their own volition had to pay the price with their life,” Dhankhar said. “West Bengal’s situation is so horrible and frightening that there is horror about the ruler here,” he added.

Reacting to Dhankhar’s accusations, Biman Banerjee said it was “extremely uncourteous” of the Governor to make such criticisms on the Assembly complex. “The Hon’ble Governor had come to pay tribute to B R Ambedkar, it was not known to us that he will be utilising this platform for a press conference. This is totally unwarranted and uncourteous. Assembly is such a place where he will work within his jurisdiction and I will within mine,” Banerjee said. He added that the Howrah Municipal Corporation bifurcation bill was still awaiting approval, and the state has no information about the President rejecting its lynching-related bill, which the Governor had claimed.

Dhankhar also said: “The Speaker thinks he has the license to say anything about the Governor.” He said this to journalists after paying floral tributes at the statue of BR Ambedkar in the state Assembly ahead of Republic Day. He said that several times in the past, Banerjee did not give him information he had asked for, including details of the Assembly resolution on the extension of BSF’s area of operation. Dhankhar said that his address in the Assembly was blacked out twice.

“Does he not know Article 168 — Governor is number one in the legislature, second in the House. I will not tolerate such indiscretions, unconstitutional work. The Speaker shall not henceforth black out address of the Governor. If he does so, he has to face the music,” Dhankhar said, with the Speaker few feet behind him.

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