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TMC MLAs protest outside Assembly over Guv's 'delay' to clear SC/ST Commission Bill

TMC MLAs protest outside Assembly over Guvs delay to clear SC/ST Commission Bill

Kolkata: In an unprecedented incident, the SC/ST MLAs from the Trinamool Congress on Tuesday staged a demonstration in front of the B R Ambedkar statue outside the Assembly protesting against Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar for not giving his assent on the West Bengal State Commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Bill 2019.

Trinamool Congress MLAs shouted 'Go Back' slogans against the Governor and alleged that he has not given his assent on the Bill to fulfil "his political agenda". They further alleged that the Governor has been working in favour of the BJP and has been trying to run a parallel administration in the state.

Speaker Biman Banerjee in the House said they have cleared all the queries that the Governor had raised but he is yet to give his assent on the Bill. "The reason is not known to us. Moreover, the Governor has been issuing press statements saying that the government has not been cooperating," Banerjee said.

While speaking on the issue, state Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee in the Assembly said the state government has been cooperating with the Governor in this regard but he has been raising a number of irrelevant questions to delay the process.

Later in the day, Chatterjee told reporters that the Governor has apparently raised questions on the necessity of the Bill as to why there should be a separate commission for the SC, ST when there is an SC/ST commission at the national level.

"Why the state has a separate human rights commission when there is another human rights commission at the national level. He has not given his assent on the Bill which has not yet been tabled in the floor of the House. Instead of signing the Bill, he (Governor) has been raising questions. He might have misunderstood the matter. We think that good sense will prevail. He should have congratulated the government for its approach to set up a commission for the development of the SC/ST," Chatterjee said.

He further stated: "He is making public the letters which he has sent to the Speaker. This is unbecoming of a Governor. We hold the post of the Governor in high esteem and worked accordingly with so many Governors in the past. The situation that has arisen now is unprecedented."

The Governor on Tuesday sent an official communiqué to the Speaker raising some issues invoking power under Article 175(2) of the Constitution. Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya, however, said that the Governor cannot raise questions on a Bill which has not been tabled yet by invoking Article 175(2).

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