In an unheard of move, the state Assembly Speaker, Mr Biman Banerjee, today adjourned the assembly session for two days because of no business in the house. The session will resume again on and from 6 December. “The session in the house has been adjourned for two days on 4 and 5 December respectively because of no business in the house.
Governor has not yet signed two Bills lying at Raj Bhaban. We could not print the Bills without his clearance. Session in the house will be resumed again on and from 6 December,” Mr Banerjee said today in the assembly. Two Bills relating to SC/ST and education are lying at Raj Bhaban though these were cleared by the Business Affairs (BA) committee of the assembly, it is learnt. “This is unprecedented in the assembly.
The session has been adjourned for two days because Bills lying at Raj Bhavan are yet to be signed by the Governor and I have never heard about such a thing in my life as a member of the legislative assembly,” said Mr Abdul Mannan, veteran Congress MLA and Leader of the Opposition. The relationship between Mr Dhankhar and the government has deteriorated with his regular criticisms of the state administration.
After making a surprise visit to the block development office (BDO) in Singur in Hooghly district in November, Mr Dhankhar had made a scathing attack against the state government. On his way to Shantiniketan the Governor had stopped at Burdwan, Durgapur and Singur and interacted with the people there.
He in his capacity as the Governor would like to spend a long time at Singur and Nandigram, the hotbeds of anti-land acquisitions movements led by Miss Mamata Banerjee to bring her to power ending 34 years’ of Left rule in the state in 2011,and gather ‘full knowledge’ about the two assembly constituencies, the Governor had remarked. “I had gone to Singur after informing the collector (district magistrate) … Did the same thing before visiting Burdwan and Durgapur,” Mr Dhankhar had told reporters.
“When there are attempts to conceal or hide something then the urge of the people to see it grows … So if someone wants to hide something, then I too would like to see it,” he said about his unscheduled visit to Singur, which had drawn adverse reactions from TMC. Earlier, he was locked in a war of words with the state government over a number of issues ~ ranging from his strong criticism of healthcare services in Bengal, and his seating at the Durga Puja carnival, to comments on his security since he rushed to Jadavpur University on September 19 to “rescue” Union minister Babul Supriyo, who had been gheraoed by a section of students.
Trinamul Congress MPs had also lodged complaints against Mr Dhankhar with the Union home minister Mr Amit Shah a day before the winter session begun in parliament. ‘No delay caused in handling works’:The Raj Bhavan, in a statement issued in the evening, said there has been no delay in handling legislative work on the part of the Governor. “There has been no delay in handling the legislative work in the Raj Bhavan.
Highest priority is accorded. However, all issues are thoroughly gone into after due briefing from the Department. If issues thereon are pending, it is on account of lack of input or response from the concerned in the respective Departments,” a press release issued by the Raj Bhavan said. “As regard the West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019: a joint representation in this regard was made by the Congress Legislative Party and Left Front Legislative Party, West Bengal, through the Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan and Dr. Sujan Chakraborty.
In process thereof, the matter came to be scrutinised in accordance of Constitutional provisions and on 29 November, 2019 WB Legislative Assembly Secretariat vide No. 1461-LA/LEG dated 29.11.2019 indicated to the office of the Governor that the preparation of the final proceedings of the House dated 30 August 2019 in connection with the West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching Bill) 2019 is under process,” the release said.
“It was further indicated that the complete official report of the debates on the aforesaid Bill will be forwarded as soon as it is finalised. The proceedings of the Assembly are critical for addressing the issue raised in the joint memorandum,” it stated. The release also claimed that the matter received attention of the Governor on 1 December 2019 as 30 November was a holiday. The Governor indicated: “put up after the response as indicated as regards final proceedings is available.”
The entire delay is fully attributable to the Assembly not making the proceedings available, the statement said. “The West Bengal State Commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Bill, 2019 was received at Raj Bhavan on 29.11.2019 and on 3.12.2019 the Governor had indicated that concerned senior person may brief along with the SC & ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
“A follow up communication was sent on the same day to the Secretary to the West Bengal Backward Classes Welfare Department vide No. 4946-S dated 3.12.19. It deserves to be noted that the file from the State Govt in this regard came to Raj Bhavan only on 29.11.2019. There has been no delay as after 29.11.2019, November 30 and December 1 were Saturday and Sunday,” the release said. As regards West Bengal Lifts, Escalators and Travelators Bill, 2019 a communication was sent from Raj Bhavan on 26.11.2019 to the Additional Secretary to the Govt of West Bengal, Power Deptt, indicating that the Additional Chief Secretary may brief the Governor on this Bill.
There has been no response thereto so far, it stated. In the matter of West Bengal Municipal (Amendment) Bill 2019, a communication dated 11.11.2019 was sent to the Principal Secretary, Deptt of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs indicating that the Principal Secretary of the Deptt may be urged to brief on the above Bill. There has been no response to this communication so far. However, the Principal Secretary has sought time and the same has been given to him on priority for 4 December 2019.
However, in the case of the West Bengal Apartment Ownership (Amendment) Bill, 2019 a letter was sent on 11.11.2019 seeking briefing from the Secretary concerned and the response came 18 days thereafter on 29.11.2019. The Bill after consideration was cleared on 3 December 2019. As regards The Hindi University, West Bengal, Bill 2019, on 3.12.2019 a communication was sent to the concerned Principal Secretary of the Deptt to brief the Governor on the issue. There has thus been no let up whatsoever at the end of the Governor. The delay is occasioned due to response not forthcoming from the government.