'Guv's remark unwarranted, goes beyond protocol'

KOLKATA: Speaker of West Bengal Legislative Assembly Biman Banerjee expressed his shock and dismay over Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar's behavior, who made critical statements on several issues of the Assembly while paying tribute to BR Ambedkar.

"The Governor said he would come here and pay floral tributes. It was not known to us that he would be utilising this platform for holding a press conference and making critical statements related to the Assembly. This is unwarranted and uncourteous and goes beyond any kind of protocol and decorum." Banerjee said.

The Speaker also hit out at Dhankhar for delaying bills after they had been passed at the Assembly.

"He refuses to sign bills unless specific words are included in them. He is just delaying the bills. He is not the only Governor. We have worked with several Governors but there has been no resistance. We have had cordial relationships and no Governor had made such statements. I did not understand who the Governor was representing?" Banerjee added.

He reiterated that the state Assembly strictly adheres to the constitutional rules.

"Whatever we have done, we have done it constitutionally," Banerjee maintained. The Governor alleged that the Speaker had not only broken all the constitutional norms and protocol but had also forgotten how to speak.

"The speaker... thinks he has license to speak anything about the Governor. Has he become a law unto himself? I will not tolerate such indiscretion. The Speaker should not henceforth blackout the address of the Governor. If he does it, he will face the music," Dhankhar said. The Governor was referring to two previous incidents when his speech was allegedly blacked out.

The Governor also used the platform to hit out at the Chief Minister and the bureaucracy. "For the last two years, the Chief Minister has not replied to any information sought… Bureaucracy has to be held accountable. The bureaucracy is politically committed. Are they to follow the dictat of an individual?" he said.

Reacting to Dhankhar's outburst, senior Trinamool Congress leader and MP Saugata Roy said: "He is trying to break the constitutional system of the state by insulting the Chief Minister. In the whole country, he is the only Governor who is acting in such a manner."

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