'No idea why Guv not giving assent to Bill for bifurcation of Howrah civic body'

Kolkata: West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee Monday said he cannot fathom the reason behind Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar not giving his assent to a bill for bifurcation of the Howrah Municipal Corporation.

He said the elections to Howrah Municipal Corporation and Bally municipality could have been held together with polls to other municipal bodies in the state where these are due, had the governor given assent.

"I cannot comprehend why the governor is not giving his assent to the bill," the Speaker said in his assembly chamber. Asked about her view on the delay in getting assent from Dhankhar, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said there are constitutional bindings and I will do what I am supposed to, and he will do what he is supposed to.

Banerjee was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting at the assembly premises on selection of the state's Human Rights Commission members.

Dhankhar and the Mamata Banerjee government are on a collision path over the bifurcation bill that seeks to carve out the erstwhile Bally municipality out of the Howrah Municipal Corporation.

The governor had said on Sunday that he sent back the bill to the state government with queries on November 24, but is yet to get the necessary clarifications.

The State Election Commission and the West Bengal government have told the Calcutta High Court that plans are afoot to hold polls to five municipal corporations on January 22, and for the remaining municipal bodies on February 27.

Elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation were held on December 19.

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