Bengal governor Dhankhar summons assembly meet at 2am | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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In a typographical error, Bengal governor Dhankhar summons assembly meet at 2am

By, Kolkata
Feb 25, 2022 04:09 AM IST

The timing of the meeting generated considerable curiosity. Hours later, assembly speaker Biman Banerjee said the timing of the meeting was a typo and the governor could have ignored it.

A typographical error landed the West Bengal legislative assembly in a bizarre situation on Thursday after governor Jagdeep Dhankar summoned the House for a meeting at 2am on March 7, only for the state government to clarify later that the time mentioned in the order was a mistake.

At 2.26pm on Thursday, governor Jagdeep Dhankar tweeted an official order saying he summoned the assembly at 2am on the recommendation of the chief minister Mamata Banerjee-led state’s cabinet.
At 2.26pm on Thursday, governor Jagdeep Dhankar tweeted an official order saying he summoned the assembly at 2am on the recommendation of the chief minister Mamata Banerjee-led state’s cabinet.

At 2.26pm on Thursday, Dhankhar tweeted an official order saying he summoned the assembly at 2am on the recommendation of the chief minister Mamata Banerjee-led state’s cabinet.

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Invoking article 174 (1) of Constitution, accepting Cabinet decision, assembly has been summoned to meet on March 07, 2022 at 2am... Assembly meeting after midnight at 2am. is unusual and history of sorts in making, but that is Cabinet decision,” Dhankhar tweeted.

As per protocol, Dhankhar addresses the House when it convenes, in the presence of chief minister Banerjee and other ministers.

The timing of the meeting generated considerable curiosity. Hours later, assembly speaker Biman Banerjee said the timing of the meeting was a typo and the governor could have ignored it.

“It could be a typographical mistake and could have been ignored. Summoning the legislative assembly at 2am is an exception. Earlier two letters had been sent to the governor where the time was mentioned as 2pm. He should have understood it and ignored it. Now it is up to the Cabinet to decide. Else, I would have to summon the assembly at 2 am as the governor has summoned at that time,” the speaker said.

Later in the day, Mamata Banerjee called the governor and told him it was a typographical error, said the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

“The chief minister called up the governor to clarify that it was a typographical error. Except for in one line, throughout the letter, which the state government had sent to the governor, it was mentioned 2pm. The chief minister has called for a fresh cabinet meeting on February 28. A fresh proposal would be sent to the governor from the cabinet to summon the assembly at 2pm,” said Kunal Ghosh, TMC spokesperson.

But Dhankhar blamed the state administration for the confusion, saying he tried to reach out to the West Bengal chief secretary for consultation.

“Finding the timing of session after midnight somewhat odd, an outreach effort was made by calling chief secretary for urgent consultations before noon today. There was usual compliance failure. The issue was determined accepting the Cabinet decision,” the governor tweeted.

The TMC attacked him and called it a “childish act”. The party claimed it was an expression of the “vindictive” attitude against the Mamata Banerjee government.

“Another expression of anti-@AITCofficial Govt mentality & vindictive approach against @MamataOfficial. Anyone after going through the notification can understand, it is nothing more than a typographical mistake, as except in the last part, everywhere it is written as 2pm. So childish!” tweeted Santanu Sen, TMC MP in the Rajya Sabha.

The Opposition, however, took a dig at the state government over the issue.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator and leader of the Opposition in assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, tweeted, “Midnight session!!! State government’s head’s in disorder...”

“This is unimaginable and totally exceptional. But as the party’s name is TMC and the chief minister is Mamata Banerjee, it suits them. They are a dark party which wants to do everything in the dark. They are gradually losing ground to face the people in the broad daylight. When everyone would be sleeping they would hold the assembly in the dark,” said Sujan Chakraborty of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Dhankhar responded to that row as he defended himself against criticism. “How ironical ! Guv accepts govt recommendation and prorogues assembly. All machinery @AITCofficial is blazing against Guv on all cylinders. Guv summons assembly at 2.0 AM on March 07 accepting Cabinet decision and faces uproar of ruling party. Where are we heading !”

Dhankhar and Banerjee have been on war path since he took office in 2019. The acrimonious relation nosedived to an all-time low in recent months. Last month, CM Banerjee blocked Dhankhar on social media platform while her party said it will move a motion, condemning the governor’s actions, in the assembly’s budget session in March.

The TMC has been trying to remove Dhankhar as the governor. Last week, the Calcutta high court dismissed a petition by an advocate for the same. Earlier, the TMC had decided to place a substantive motion in the Rajya Sabha criticising the actions of governor, but the chairman of the Upper House did not allow any discussion on the subject.

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