'Attempt to create a rift between Speaker and Deputy Speaker unacceptable...'
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her displeasure over the absence of Opposition BJP MLAs on the occasion of swearing in of the four newly elected Trinamool Congress (TMC) legislators at the Bengal Assembly on Tuesday.
While congratulating the four elected public representatives as they took their oath in office, Banerjee was critical about the BJP MLAs absence. "I feel it is everybody's duty to congratulate the four MLAs on this occasion. But I am amazed that many are not present. They turn up at the Assembly as per their wish and remain absent at their own will. They talk of ushering in 'Acche Din' (good days) but have brought in 'Bure Din' (bad days). A political party is avoiding the Assembly floor for reasons better known to them. I am sorry to say that they have little regards for the Assembly. This is not desirable," Banerjee stated.
Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay who has won from the Khardah seat in North 24-Parganas, Udayan Guha who bagged the Dinhata seat in Cooch Behar, Subrata Mondal who won from Gosaba in South 24-Parganas and Braja Kishore Goswami who came out with flying colours from the Santipur seat in Nadia in the recent by-elections were administered the oath of secrecy by Speaker Biman Banerjee.
According to sources, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had written to the Assembly secretariat authorizing the Deputy Speaker to administer the oat. However, after Banerjee's intervention, the Governor changed his decision and allowed Biman Banerjee to administer the oath.
"The Speaker is the highest post in the state Assembly as per constitutional provisions.When the Speaker is present in the Assembly, awarding such responsibility to the Deputy Speaker is not desirable. An attempt to create division among the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker will not work as both of them pursue the same ideals. I feel that such practice of trying to create division among Speaker and Deputy Speaker should stop," Banerjee said in a veiled attack at the Governor.
State Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee termed the act of the Governor as an insult to the Speaker's post.
In September, Dhankhar had taken away the power of the Speaker to administer oath and vested it with himself. On Monday, he wrote to the Assembly secretariat saying Deputy Speaker Asish Banerjee can administer the oath on his behalf as he would not be able to attend the oath-taking ceremony at the Assembly house.