Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar today said that he would neither cross the “lakshman rekha” nor flout the norms of the Constitution while delivering his speech in the Assembly tomorrow to commence the Budget session. Mr Dhankhar’s statement was issued by the Raj Bhawan this evening after state government did not accept his suggestions to the draft Governor’s address.

“Governor Dhankhar has indicated that he would address the issue in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and that his consistent position all through has been that there has to be strict adherence by all to the Constitution of India. He also asserted that he will never cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ and not countenance deviation of Constitution from constitutional provisions by the executive or any authority in the state,” read his statement.

Mr Dhankhar will address the Assembly under Article 176 of the Constitution of India at 2 p.m. on 7 February. The draft address that is to be delivered by Mr Dhankhar was sent by the state government after Cabinet’s approval on 3 February. Following which Mr Dhankhar sent his “suggestions as regards replacements/additions to certain paragraphs and some additions of new paragraphs” to the state government on the morning of 6 February.

“The stand of the state government on the issue has been communicated to Raj Bhavan on the evening of 6 February and the government has taken the stand that the text of the address as already sent, is the final text,” read the statement.

Yesterday, while speaking to media persons at Raj Bhawan, Mr Dhankhar had said that if there were different points of view, there should not be any confrontation between him and the state government and that both sides needed to be accommodative of the other’s point of view. He had said that the draft of the address was under his consideration.

“If I leave one issue, or make an addition, I will do it in a formal manner. My input to the state government is a matter between me and the state government. And even if there are different points of view, that cannot take us to a level of confrontation. That is to be accommodative of each other’s point of view, keeping only one thing in mind ~ rule of law, Indian Constitution and welfare of the state, its people, and its development,” Mr Dhankhar had then said.

According to sources, according to the Constitution it is mandatory for the Governor to address the speech prepared by the state government. If the governor wishes then he can give suggestions which too may or may not be accepted by the state government, said the official.

If the suggestions are not accepted then the governor can either read out the speech prepared by the state government or read the speech along with a rider, he added. Again, in order to include Mr Dhankhar’s suggestions Miss Banerjee has to hold another Cabinet for approving those.