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Guv reads his speech after opposition protest, CM relieved

Finally, after an hour-long drama at 2.59 pm, the governor budged and the deadlock was lifted after he acceded to the demand of reading the first and last line of his speech much to the relief of the ruling dispensation and marked the commencement of the budget session.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

In what is said to be a “first” and “unprecedented” incident in constitutional democracy and in a state legislature as well, governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, in the midst of a topsy-turvy relationship with the state government, had run into a noisy Opposition, led by the Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari in the state assembly today.

The noisy protests led Dhankhar to withhold his speech till the resumption of the budget session for an hour and tried to leave the assembly several times without reading his speech. The assembly saw tense moments as the ruling party MLAs and even the chief minister requested the constitutional head not to leave without reading his speech.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who later was relieved and expressed her gratitude following the governor’s decision to read the first and last lines of his speech at around 2.59 pm. Both the Cm and the speaker Biman Banerjee were seen requesting him to continue with his speech amidst din. Later, Ms Banerjee in a scathing attack on the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) described today’s incident as an “unprecedented and planned mayhem” and that their act was a “shame on democracy”.

Launching her tirade, she said that the manner in which the BJP conducted itself to create the mayhem in the floor of the House today, shows it learnt no lessons from their drubbing in the just-concluded civic polls. She said further, “Their (read BJP) candidates could not win even in their respective wards and for all the mayhem happening today in the House was nothing but a drama, it all orchestrated in a planned manner by the BJP.”

On the governor’s role, she said that the Opposition party’s protest in legislatures all over the country is well documented and known to all and the governors read through his speech amidst such a din was what the protocol and convention demands. Why the governor was not keen on reading his speech despite repeated requests from me and the speaker to read his speech to avert the constitutional crisis that might have cropped up, was hard to fathom. She, however, said her party MLAs remained silent and did not react to the opposition provocations.

“You all witnessed how our party’s men and women lawmakers had behaved themselves by requesting the governor to read his speech amidst the din,” she said. Earlier, the assembly which was scheduled to commence its budget session sharp at 2 pm with the address of governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was mired in controversy after the opposition BJP legislators, led by Suvendu Adhikari, leader of the opposition in the state assembly, came down to the Well of the House and staged protests against the alleged “botched polls”, which they claimed was tantamount to murder of democracy.

The situation had come to such a pass that the governor had tried to leave the House in a huff but held back by the repeated requests by the speaker and the chief minister as well, who urged him to read only the first and the last line of the address to notify that his speech was tabled and the budget session got underway. Finally, after an hour-long drama at 2.59 pm, the governor budged and the deadlock was lifted after he acceded to the demand of reading the first and last line of his speech much to the relief of the ruling dispensation and marked the commencement of the budget session.

Dilip Ghosh supports the protest in assembly: The BJP national vice-president and MP Dilip Ghosh today said his party legislators gave a fitting reply to the ruling party, which murdered the democracy during the civic polls.

“My gratitude to those BJP legislators, who gave a befitting reply to the murderers of democracy from the very ramparts of our democratic temple,” he said. Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikary said that his party legislators have respect for governor Jagdeep Dhankhar but protested against the ruling party as it looted the votes in the recent civic poll. Miscreants, who are associated with extortion rackets, captured booths and gave proxy votes,” he said.