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West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s visit to Assembly takes an ugly turn

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Speaker Biman Banerjee and other senior members of the House were missing although the Governor was invited for lunch.

The stand-off between the West Bengal government and Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Thursday took an ugly turn when the Governor arrived at the State Assembly only to find the gates of the House meant for the entry of the Governor closed.

After standing for some time before the locked gate, which is customarily opened when the State’s Governor visits the Assembly during his addresses or other special occasions, Mr. Dhankar entered the House through another gate and found Speaker Biman Banerjee and other senior members of the House missing.

The West Bengal Assembly has suspended the ongoing session of the House for Wednesday and Thursday.

The Governor said that his visit to the House was on the invitation of the Speaker, who had asked him to come for lunch, an invitation that was later cancelled.

“Assembly not being in session does not mean Assembly is closed. The entire Secretariat has to be open,” the Governor said. He told journalists that the invite was extended to “my special secretary who received a call from the secretary of the Assembly”.

“Today your action has brought shame to the legislature…It is a painful moment in my life and in the Parliamentary history of West Bengal,” Mr. Dhankar said, adding that he will write to the to the Speaker on the developments. “This is shameful, it is also belittling the office of the Speaker,” he said.

“I am not being humiliated, democracy is being humiliated, they are caging democracy,” the Governor said, when asked by journalists whether he found himself humiliated.

Speaking to journalists, the Governor clarified that there was no delaying of any legislation and added that he had promptly acted on every Bill. Mr. Dhankar reiterated that he was “neither a rubber stamp nor a post office”.

“Why this silence, do they want the democracy to sleep?” asked Mr. Dhankar, who was upset with the protocol not being observed during his visit to the Assembly. “At Raj Bhavan, I have to be follow every protocol and even if someone comes on a Sunday, proper protocol will be followed,” he said.

The developments on Thursday come a day after the Governor’s visit to University of Calcutta was met with a similar response, where the Vice-Chancellor was absent and her office was closed.

Ever since assuming the office of the Governor in July this year, Mr. Dhankar’s relations with the Trinamool Congess government have been far from cordial. On numerous occasions, the Governor’s remarks have been met with severe criticism by the Trinamool Congress Ministers.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 7:18:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/west-bengal-governor-jagdeep-dhankhar-arrives-at-assembly-to-find-gates-closed/article30181908.ece

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