KOLKATA, Jan 25: Calling the political condition prevailing in West Bengal “horrible and frightening”, Goveror Jagdeep Dhankhar alleged on Tuesday the people of the state do not have the freedom to exercise their franchise freely and fearlessly.
He also accused state assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee of transgressing constitutional norms, provoking sharp reactions from the ruling TMC dispensation.
“We have seen post-poll violence of unprecedented level. Those who dared to vote according to their own volition had to pay the price with their life,” Dhankhar said after paying floral tributes at the statue of B R Ambedkar on the assembly premises on the National Voters Day.
Noting that a fact-finding committee appointed by the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission had observed that rule of the ruler and not the law prevails in the state, the governor said, “This is an understatement; West Bengal’s situation is so horrible and frightening that there is horror about the ruler here.”
He also came down heavily on Speaker Biman Banerjee, accusing him of transgressing constitutional norms and not providing information sought by him.
The Speaker shot back, terming Dhankhar’s accusation “uncalled for”.
The governor also accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of failing to provide answer to his queries on various occasions.
“The speaker…. He thinks he has the license to talk anything about the governor,” Dhankhar told reporters.
He claimed on several occasions the speaker did not provide him information he had sought, including details of the assembly resolution on extension of BSF’s area of operation.
Dhankhar alleged his address to the assembly was blacked out twice.
“Does he not know Article 168 — governor is number one in the legislature….. I will not withstand such indiscretions, unconstitutional work. The speaker shall not henceforth blackout address of the governor. If he does so, he will face music of law,” Dhankhar said on the lawns of the assembly as the speaker stood a little distance away.
Dhankhar asserted no file was pending with him with respect to any bill or government recommendation.
Reacting to Dhankhar’s accusations soon after, Biman Banerjee said it was “extremely discourteous” of the governor to have made such remarks.
“The hon’ble governor had come to pay tribute to B R Ambedkar. It was not known to us that he will be utilising this platform for a press conference. This is totally unwarranted and discourteous.
“Assembly is such a place where he should work within his jurisdiction and I will within mine,” the speaker contended. (PTI)