West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday said he was insulted after he had to wait outside a closed gate at the Assembly, and the Speaker and the staff were absent.
The development is the latest in a series of tussles between the state government and the Governor, and comes a day after Dhankhar visited Calcutta University only to find senior officials absent and the Vice-Chancellor’s office locked.
On a visit to the Assembly on Thursday, Dhankhar was surprised to find Gate Number 3 locked, and said that the incident had put the country’s democratic history to shame.
Speaking to the media outside the House, Dhankhar said, “Despite my prior intimation, why is Gate Number 3 closed? The Assembly being adjourned does not mean it is closed. The Governor’s gate being locked has put our democratic history to shame. This is not an insult to me, but an insult to the people of the state and the Constitution.”
According to Assembly norms, Gate Number 3 is designated for the Governor’s entry and exit. “Democracy is being humiliated, not me. It reflects we are trying to cage democracy,” Dhankhar said. He later entered the Assembly premises through Gate Number 2, meant for media and officials.
The Speaker was not available for comments.
Slamming Dhankhar, State Parliamentary Affairs Minister and TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said, “The Governor is trying to create an anarchic situation in Bengal. He is aspiring to become the administrative head of the state. He should be satisfied with his constitutional limits. Before questioning us, he should reply why the expenses of Governor House has risen to Rs 7 crore. If he wants to visit any part of the state, he should not waste public money.”
The TMC also slammed the Governor for allegedly not signing Bills. “Why is he not signing the Bills and allowing the House to function?” asked party leader Chandrima Bhattacharya.
On Tuesday, the Speaker adjourned the House for two days, saying that Bills slated to be placed in the Assembly were yet to get the Governor’s approval.
This was denied by Raj Bhavan, which termed the situation “factually untenable”. The Governor said his queries regarding the Bills were not addressed by the state government and he does not act like a “rubber stamp”.