Kicking off a fresh battle against West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee on Monday asked the Governor not to interfere in the internal matters of the Assembly.
Banerjee was replying to Dhankhar’s letter where the Governor had advised the Speaker to uphold the ‘dignity of the Parliamentary system’. Though he didn’t say much in detail, the letter was regarding the nomination of Mukul Roy as the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the Assembly.
Speaking to the media, Banerjee said, “I have replied to the letter of the Governor in this regard. I told him that you cannot interfere in the work of the Assembly. The matter of the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is entirely within the purview of the Speaker. By interfering in this, he is ruining the dignity of the Assembly.”
“The language that the Governor is using doesn’t justify his constitutional position. He should understand the dignity and importance of his position. Hopefully he restrains himself and doesn’t interfere in the internal affairs of the legislature,” he added.
“I do not understand why the Governor is interfering in the affairs of the Assembly. I hope he will understand the seriousness of the issue and not try to interfere in the work of the Assembly,” he said.
The controversy arose after Banerjee nominated Trinamool leader Mukul Roy for the post of the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. Traditionally, the post is offered to the opposition but as Roy had switched camp and joined the Trinamool after winning the elections on a BJP ticket, the BJP claimed the right for the post.
The saffron brigade said that someone from BJP should have been offered the post. The Leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari, and another MLA Ambika Roy even moved the court challenging the decision. The Trinamool, however, claimed that the matter depended entirely on the Speaker.
This is not the first time that the head of the state and the head of the Assembly have been engaged in a verbal duel. Banerjee had earlier complained to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla that the constitutional head of the state did not have the right to interfere in the work of the Assembly.