Trinamool concedes, but fumes, as Deputy Speaker Babul Supriyo is sworn in.

  • May 12, 2022, 10:51 a.m.

The latest conflict between the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar came to an end on Wednesday after Deputy Speaker Asish Banerjee administered the oath of office to the ruling party’s MLA and former Union minister Babul Supriyo after a delay of almost one month.

Supriyo was elected to the Assembly on April 16, but his swearing-in ceremony was held up as Dhankhar, on April 30, assigned the job to Asish Banerjee. The Governor cited Article 188 of the Constitution that states members of legislative assemblies must take "oath before the Governor, or some person appointed in that behalf by him". According to convention, it has always been the Speaker. But, since last year, Dhankhar has refused to allow Speaker Biman Banerjee to administer the oath of office to MLAs.

Initially, Asish Banerjee complicated matters by refusing to follow Dhankhar’s instructions and saying that a Deputy Speaker functions only in the Speaker’s absence. But he relented on Wednesday, even as he expressed displeasure over the situation.

The Deputy Speaker accused Dhankhar of trying to create a rift between him and Biman Banerjee and said that he changed his mind after the Speaker asked him to administer the oath. "I did not want to administer the oath in place of the Speaker. But as Babul Supriyo, despite being elected as an MLA, could not do some important work, I decided to play my role after getting a request from the Speaker. The Governor tried to create a divide between me and the Speaker. But we are together, "Asish Banerjee added.

Despite being on the assembly premises, Biman Banerjee did not attend the swearing-in ceremony.

After taking the oath, Supriyo thanked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. "I thank Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for providing me with this opportunity and from now onwards I will work according to her instructions." I have worked as a union minister but have never visited the Assembly before. Today, a new chapter has begun. "

On May 1, Supriyo appealed to Dhankhar on Twitter to allow Biman Banerjee to preside over the swearing-in ceremony. But the Governor tweeted back, saying that the public domain was not the place to make such a request. The legislator on Wednesday went on to say, "I started my work as an MLA a long time back. Only the swearing-in was pending. Despite some complications, today's event was completed. There is a saying that all’s well that ends well. It is very true when it comes to this event. "

BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya blamed the state government’s "stubbornness" for the delay in Supriyo’s swearing-in. "The Governor has the prerogative of either administering the oath himself or mandating someone else to do so." In this case, the West Bengal Governor mandated the Deputy Speaker. But it is the state’s ruling party that made an issue out of it and delayed the process by saying the Speaker should do it, "he added.

The Congress and CPI (M), however, held both Dhankhar and the state government responsible for the delay. "The entire sequence of events shows that unnecessary exercises go on instead of any constructive work. "A simple matter of oath-taking ceremony has been politicised by both the parties," said state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Echoing him, CPI (M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said, "There was no need to show unnecessary stubbornness from both ends over such a simple issue." This was totally unwarranted. "

Repeated run-ins

A similar crisis arose last November after TMC candidates won from Khardah, Dinhata, Santipur, and Gosaba. At the time, too, the Governor appointed Asish Banerjee to conduct the swearing-in ceremony. But Dhankhar changed his mind after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stepped in.

Two months earlier, the TMC chief faced the same predicament after winning the Bhabanipur Assembly by-election. She needed to get sworn in as a member of the Assembly by November 4 to continue as CM. But after the Governor took away Biman Banerjee’s power to administer the oath of office, the government wrote to Dhankhar on October 1, urging him to authorise the Speaker to conduct the ceremony. In response, the Governor sought a gazette notification on the by-poll result. This forced the TMC to reschedule Mamata Banerjee’s swearing-in ceremony, which was initially planned for October 4. After the gazette notification was issued, Dhankhar administered the oath to Banerjee on October 7.

Author : Rajdhani Delhi Representative

Rajdhani delhi representative

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