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No rule of law, only law of ruler in West Bengal: Governor Jagdeep Dhankar

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar being received by State Legislative Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee (L), on his arrival at the Assembly, in Kolkata on January 25, 2022.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar being received by State Legislative Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee (L), on his arrival at the Assembly, in Kolkata on January 25, 2022.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday traded charges with the Speaker of the Assembly, Biman Banerjee, on the Assembly premises on the occasion of National Voters Day.

The Governor offered floral tributes to a statue of B.R. Ambedkar on the Assembly premises, and then told journalists assembled that “voters were not free in West Bengal”.

“We have seen post-poll violence of unprecedented level where those who dared to vote according to their own volition had to pay the price with their life,” the Governor said.

Mr. Dhankhar said that the situation was “horrible and frightening” in West Bengal, and accused that instead of “rule of law, the law of the ruler” is prevailing in the State. The Governor targeted Speaker Biman Banerjee accusing him of transgressing constitutional norms, and cited several instances to level allegations against the Speaker.

Licence to talk

“The Speaker thinks he has the licence to talk anything about the Governor,” Mr. Dhankhar told journalists in the Assembly.

The Governor said that none of the Bills are pending with him, and added that on several occasions, the Speaker did not provide him information he had sought from him on the resolutions passed in the Assembly. The remarks by the Governor evoked a strong reaction from the Trinamool Congress leaders and the Speaker.

This is not the first occasion that the differences between the Governor and the Speaker have come to the fore, but on Tuesday both the constitutional functionaries traded charges against each other in the State Assembly. The trading of charges between the Raj Bhavan and the West Bengal government has become almost a daily phenomenon in West Bengal politics.

The Speaker expressed surprise that Governor made these remarks on the State Assembly premises. “It was not in our knowledge that the Governor would use this platform for such kinds of comments. He could have done this media interaction at the Governor’s house and not in the Assembly,” Mr. Banerjee said.

He added that both the offices of Governor and Speaker are constitutional offices and one should not interfere in other’s functioning.

The development evoked strong response from the Trinamool Congress leadership who said that the Governor meets Leader of Opposition twice or thrice every week and then makes remarks that does not fit his “ constitutional stature”.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 12:57:20 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/no-rule-of-law-only-law-of-ruler-in-west-bengal-governor-jagdeep-dhankar/article38325536.ece