Jagdeep Dhankhar who had to wait outside the West Bengal Assembly on Thursday as the gate designated for the governor was locked, said the “humiliation” meted out to the governor’s post has put the country’s democratic history to “shame”. Later Dhankhar entered the Assembly premises through Gate no 4, meant for media persons and officials. “Why is gate no 3 closed? Despite my prior intimation, the gate is 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,” Dhankhar told reporters.
According to Assembly norms, gate no 3 is designated for the governor’s entry and exit.
Dhankhar had on Wednesday written to Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee expressing his desire to look into its facilities and also visit the library.
“After I had informed about my visit, the special secretary of Raj Bhavan, received a message inviting me and my wife for a lunch by the speaker. I accepted it.
“But within one-and-half hours of receiving the message, my special secretary received another message from the Assembly secretary, stating that the invite stands cancelled. He was also told that the secretary and special secretary of the Assembly will not be present during my visit,” the governor said after coming out of the Assembly.
“I wonder what happened during one-and-a-half hours that every thing changed. I will write to the speaker that what happened today has belittled his chair”, he said.
Hitting out at the state government for trying to undermine democratic norms and constitutional posts, the governor said he will not be “cowed down” by such “antics” of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).
“I will continue to work towards upholding constitutional and democratic norms. The role of the governor and the government is clearly defined in the Constitution. I can’t be cowed down by such antics,” he said.
In an unprecedented development on Tuesday, the speaker had adjourned the House for two days, saying that the Bills, slated to be placed in the Assembly, were yet to get the governor’s approval.
However, the claim was refuted by the Raj Bhavan, which in a statement termed the situation as “factually untenable”.