West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday (January 28) asked the high functionaries in the Mamata Banerjee-led government to “adhere to rule of law and Constitutional prescriptions”, even as the ruling TMC is planning to move a “substantive motion” against him in the Rajya Sabha during the upcoming budget session.
The governor’s latest barb comes after his outburst against the state government and speaker Biman Banerjee on the Assembly premises on Tuesday (January 25) set off a chain reaction that manifested the new low in his relations with the TMC-led government.
Speaking to media after paying floral tributes to B.R. Ambedkar in the Assembly premises on the National Voters Day, Dhankhar alleged that the speaker on several occasions ignored his communiqués to provide him information on the resolutions passed in the Assembly.
The governor also claimed that instead of “rule of the law”, “the law of the ruler” is prevailing in the state.
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Dhankhar’s remarks evoked strong reaction from the ruling TMC, which has decided to explore possibilities of bringing a motion against the governor. If the motion is moved, Dhankhar will be the second governor of the state to face such censure.
After the then governor Dharma Vira dismissed the state’s United Front government in 1967, the CPI had brought a similar motion against him seeking his removal.
The “substantive motion” allows a discussion on “conduct of persons in high authority” and also has a provision to put the motion to vote.
The TMC sources said that with 13 Rajya Sabha MPs, the party does not expect any substantive outcome from its move, but it will help highlight nationally the “partisan and unconstitutional manner” the governor is functioning in the state.
Meanwhile, speaker Biman Banerjee said that his office might in future ask the governor to spell out the reason if he wishes to visit the Assembly on occasions other than constitutionally mandated appearance such as the governor’s address to the house.
Banerjee’s office also sought the video footage of the governor’s interactions with the media, where he castigated the state government and the speaker to decide on its future course of action.
“After scrutinising the footage, my office may in future ask the governor to specify the purpose before visiting the Assembly on occasions other than those constitutionally mandated,” the speaker told the media.
Reacting to Banerjee’s statement, the governor in a two-page press release said that the speaker’s reactions “emanate out of ignorance or deliberate defiance of constitutional essence and spirit.”
“His thought process, an act of impropriety, seeks to impart perception that assembly precincts are his fiefdom,” the governor further said and urged the “high functionaries” to “resolve to address in togetherness” the problems of the public.
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The tiff between the Raj Bhavan and the West Bengal government has become a regular phenomenon ever since Dhankhar assumed the office of the West Bengal governor in 2019.
The latest war of attrition has only added a new dimension to the ongoing tussle as it is now likely to move to the precincts of the parliament and the Assembly.