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Bengal Assembly Speaker Voices Reservations To Birla About ‘Interference’ Of Governor

Kolkata, Sep 15: West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay on Wednesday voiced reservation to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla about the “interference” of state Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar in matters related to the functioning of the House and expressed his displeasure over central agencies chargesheeting and summoning legislators without the nod of Speaker’s office, according to a high-level source. Bandyopadhyay aired his reservations on the issues to Birla while virtually participating in the All India Presiding Officers Conference, the source in the assembly secretariat said.

“Bandyopadhyay told the Lok Sabha Speaker about the excessive interference of Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar in parliamentary democracy and the functioning of the Assembly. He had also expressed his reservations on how rules are flouted by central agencies when they summon legislators or frame charge-sheets against them without seeking the Speaker’s permission, the source said. The assembly Speaker also said Birla’s permission is sought while taking action against Lok Sabha members. Bandyopadhyay also flagged the issue of “some MLAs going to Raj Bhavan and discussing matters related to the functioning of assembly with the Hon’ble governor. This lowers the dignity of the legislature,” the source said.

Contacted by PTI, Bandyopadhyay said, “I have told the Hon’ble Lok Sabha speaker whatever I had to say.” To a question if he got any letter from Dhankhar after the Presiding Officer’s meet, he said, “No I haven’t.” In a letter to Bandyopadhyay, Dhankhar on Wednesday urged him to adhere to constitutional norms, and said any “unseemly spectacle” should be avoided by people in high positions as it lowers the dignity of parliamentary democracy. The governor shared the letter on his Twitter handle.

Bandyopadhyay Monday said he has summoned senior CBI and Enforcement Directorate officers on September 22 to explain why no permission had been taken from the assembly Speaker’s office before submitting charge sheets against legislators of the state in recent times. According to the assembly secretariat source, Bandyopadhyay without naming Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said, Some people are moving court on issues on which justice is available in the assembly. This is demeaning the dignity of the house.” Adhikari, a BJP leader, said, “We had to go to the governor and also move the high court after Mukul Roy was appointed as PAC Chairman despite having switched over to the Trinamool Congress after winning the poll on BJP ticket. If our views are not accommodated we have to go to other constitutional authorities.” .

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