West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar who has been at loggerheads with the West Bengal government on several issues said on Friday he is ready to sit for talks with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He told reporters at the Assembly that it is not the first time that he has spoken about it.
“Discussions and dialogues are the only way forward in the Indian Constitution. I am ready to discuss all the matters with the chief minister at any designated place, be it at Raj Bhavan or ‘Nabanna’ (state secretariat).
“It is not that I am saying this for the first time. I have also written to her in this regard. On Tuesday, I had spoken to her over phone,” Dhankhar told reporters at the state assembly. Undeterred by his experience during his visit to the Assembly on Thursday, Dhankhar returned to the Assembly premises on Friday to pay floral tribute at the statue of Dr B R Ambedkar on his birth anniversary.
The governor who was accompanied by his wife entered the Assembly through the gate designated for his entry and was received by Marshall of the Assembly, other officials and MLAs.
However, Speaker Biman Banerjee who was present in the House was not there to receive the governor, as he was attending a Business Advisory (BA) committee meeting.
Lavishing praise on the speaker, Dhankhar said when he informed the speaker on Thursday about his proposed visit to the Assembly, he was very prompt in replying to his message.
“The speaker told me as he would be busy with a Business Advisory Committee meeting, he will not be able to receive me but I would be taken care of,” the governor said.
A drama had unfolded at the Assembly on Thursday as Dhankhar was made to wait outside the assembly with the gate designated for his entry being locked and the speaker and staff having gone missing.
Seething with anger, Dhankar had said, the “humiliation” meted out to the governor’s post had put the country’s democratic history to “shame” and reflected the “caged democratic atmosphere” prevailing in the state.
The Trinamool Congress, was quick to react, slamming the governor for overstepping his brief and “aspiring to be the administrative head of the state”.
Since assuming office in July, the governor has in a row with Mamata Banerjee’s government over a number of issues, ranging from the seating arrangement at the Durga Puja carnival to his unscheduled visit to Singur.