West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee again ran into confrontation when the former returned the latter’s recommendation to convene an assembly session from March 7, stating that the proposal did not meet constitutional norms.
In a video tweet the governor said, “Constitution permits the governor to summon the House on the recommendation of the cabinet. This is spelt out in the constitution as also the process is laid down in the rule of business.”
“The government sent me a file on February 17 seeking to summon the assembly on March 7. However, that had the endorsement of only the Chief Minister. The role of the cabinet decision in this situation is necessary,” the governor said.
“The only option that I had was to send the file back to the government so that they can send it back with constitutional compliance. As and when the file comes the matter will be considered in accordance with the constitution,” he added.
“Hon’ble CM Mamata Banerjee’s recommendation to summon assembly on March 7 had to be returned for constitutional compliance as Guv summons assembly on the recommendation made by the Cabinet after due compliance of Rules of Business under article 166(3) of constitution,” Dhankhar also wrote in his tweet.
The governor attached a letter that he wrote to the government as he sent back the file. “Only option was to remit the file and for constitutional compliance,” he added.
Expressing disappointment, TMC national spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Roy noted that Dhankhar had previously “sat over files” duly approved by people’s representatives, and returning the recommendation for assembly session was the latest move to “stall administrative work”.
“He has also put on hold the bill seeking creation of Bally municipality. The recommendation for summoning the House has been made to him by the chief minister with due endorsement by the parliamentary affairs minister. How come he inferred that it did not have the sanction of the cabinet?” Roy added.
“He is trying to run a parallel administration and he is doing this perhaps from deep rooted frustration – might be for the defeat in the election,” state Education Minister Bratya Basu said.