Governor targets Mamata over assembly ruckus; 2 BJP legislators suspended

West Bengal assembly speaker Biman Banerjee suspended BJP legislators Mihir Goswami and Sudip Mukherjee on charges of creating trouble in the House on March 7.
West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday targeted chief minister Mamata Banerjee over the ruckus at the state assembly on March 7. (File/ANI)
West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday targeted chief minister Mamata Banerjee over the ruckus at the state assembly on March 7. (File/ANI)
Published on Mar 09, 2022 06:43 PM IST
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KOLKATA: West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday targeted chief minister Mamata Banerjee over the ruckus at the state assembly on March 7 even as the speaker suspended 2 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators on charges of creating trouble in the House on that day. The disciplinary action triggered another round of protests inside the assembly.

Tweeting a short video clip of the speech Banerjee delivered at a Trinamool Congress (TMC) meeting on Tuesday, Dhankhar wrote: “There can be no justification to sanctify, much less applaud, ‘gherao/blockade’ of Guv in the hallowed precincts of august WBLA. Reflect !! Where are we heading! and Why ! Hon’ble CM applauding What! “Disorder” in House! We all need to work to blossom democracy.”

In the video, Banerjee could be heard saying, “Thanks to my women brigade. The brothers stayed behind their sisters who saved the honour of the assembly and our democracy. This will be a lesson for others in the future.”

Incidentally, at the same party meeting, Banerjee had also said that the women legislators were verbally abused by BJP MLAs while they were pleading to the governor to read out at least a few lines from the speech and table it so that the budget session could be inaugurated.

On Tuesday evening, hours after Banerjee addressed the TMC meeting, Dhankhar shot a letter to assembly speaker Biman Banerjee accusing 6 women ministers and 9 women legislators of the TMC of obstructing his movement and behaving inappropriately with him during the ruckus. The governor, who could not deliver his full speech and inaugurated the budget session by reading out a few lines, alleged that he was subjected to “unprintable, indigestible invectives.” His letter described the unruly scenes as “strategized.”

Though Dhankhar asked Biman Banerjee to meet him in 3 days and take disciplinary action against the TMC legislators, the latter said he cannot visit Raj Bhawan because of other engagements.

On Wednesday, when the assembly was in session, the speaker suspended BJP legislators Mihir Goswami and Sudip Mukherjee on charges of creating trouble in the House. A motion was moved against them by the ruling party. TMC leaders said they will soon move another motion condemning the March 7 incidents.

Leader of the opposition in the assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, said on March 7 that he and the other BJP legislators staged the hour-long agitation solely to prevent the governor from reading out his speech because it was prepared by the state government.

Dhankhar’s letter, which was distributed among members of the media on Tuesday evening, did not hold the opposition responsible for the alleged chaos. “There is acceptable mechanism of engaging in protest. Opposition was protesting from the beginning…” it said.

Reacting to the suspension of his colleagues, Adhikari alleged on Wednesday that the speaker acted in a biased manner.

“We do not accept this suspension order. We will continue to hold protests in the assembly although we will take part in the discussions,” Adhikari said.

While addressing the assembly on Wednesday, Mamata Banerjee targeted the BJP by citing the killing of farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh. She also accused the Centre of not clearing funds that her government is entitled to receive.

“They trample farmers under the wheels of their cars. We protect our farmers in Bengal,” said Banerjee.

BJP legislators shouted the “Jai Sri Ram” slogan throughout her speech before staging a walkout.

Reacting to Dhankhar’s tweet, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said: “The governor has become the president of the chief minister’s fan club. He carefully listens to her speech and edits her videos. The BJP legislators staged unruly scenes on March 7 only to help Dhankhar. They wanted him to leave without tabling the speech so that it would lead to a constitutional crisis. Our women MLAs foiled their plan.”

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Thursday, June 30, 2022