Ties between the West Bengal government and Raj Bhavan worsened further Thursday when Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was made to wait outside the assembly as the gate, which is designated for the governor, was locked.
The closed gate infuriated the Governor, who was standing outside the assembly. “Why is the gate closed? That too despite my prior intimation. Assembly adjourned does not mean Assembly is closed. I am here to see that Constitution is respected,” he told media persons.
Dhankhar added, “The governor’s gate being locked has put our democratic history to shame. The assembly should be opened even on Sundays if the Governor visits. And that should be the way. Respect should be there.”
Later, he entered the Assembly premises through Gate no 4, meant for media persons and officials.
“When I came here the gate meant for Governor and other VVIPs was closed but I went inside through a gate that was opened. Assembly Secretariat is opened throughout the year. My purpose is to see the historic building, visit the library. The entire secretariat has to be open,” Dhankhar added.
On Wednesday, Dhankhar had written to West Bengal assembly speaker Biman Banerjee expressing his desire to look into its facilities and also visit the library.
In an unprecedented development on Tuesday, West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee adjourned the House for two days, saying that the Bills, slated to be placed in the Assembly, were yet to get Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s approval.
Within hours, the Governor had reacted sharply saying the delay was not from his end, but from the department concerned, and termed the situation projected by the Speaker as “factually untenable”.
In another incident on Wednesday, Dhankhar, in his capacity as Chancellor of Calcutta University, visited its College Street campus only to find that senior officials, including Vice-Chancellor Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee, were absent.
“I had sent a message to the V-C that I am coming to the campus at 2 pm and will visit the library. A regular message was also dispatched. When I came here, you have seen, there was no one to receive me. Their mobile phones became unreachable and landlines were not functional. All of us who want to do their duty cannot be deterred by this,” Dhankhar, who was made to sit in a room used by the university staff members, told mediapersons.
Last Friday, the Governor, who is at loggerheads with the TMC government in the state, hit out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for “humiliating” him “on every occasion” and not briefing him regularly.