This Article is From Dec 05, 2019

"Democracy Caged," Says Bengal Governor Outside Locked Assembly Gates

Since assuming office in July, Governor Jadeep Dhankar has been at loggerheads with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over several issues.

'Democracy Caged,' Says Bengal Governor Outside Locked Assembly Gates

Governor Jagdeep Dhankar said the incident is a "sad day for the democracy of the state"


West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Thursday expressed outrage after he arrived at the state Legislative Assembly only to find the gates locked.

Speaking to the media, Mr Dhankar said: "The purpose of my visit to the assembly was to see the historic building, the background and to visit the library. The assembly is scheduled to be open throughout the year; an assembly not being in session does not mean that the assembly is closed."

Mr Dhankar claimed that had written to the Speaker of the Assembly informing him about his visit. He also said that his special secretary received a call from the Speaker who said that he was delighted about his visit and also invited Mr Dhankar and his wife to lunch.

"When I arrived at the assembly, the gate meant for the Governor and other VVIPs was closed, but I entered the assembly through another gate which was open. There was a deathly silence in the assembly on a working day," he said.

The Governor walked in from Gate 2 and found that Gate 3 designated for the Governor was closed.

Mr Dhankar later said that the Speaker suddenly turned down his invitation saying that he would not be available.

The Governor said the incident is a "sad day for the democracy of the state".

"You cannot make the legislature captive with such exercises. Democracy is being humiliated, not me. We are caging democracy. However, as the Governor of the state, I will never bow down and will work to uphold the democratic principles of the state," he said.

He also lashed out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, stating that she had failed to perform constitutional duties for the last four months, and has never briefed the governor about important issues, including about cyclone ''Bulbul''.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee hit back at the Governor saying that she will "fight back."

"Look at my state just for the introduction of Bills my house is adjourned. I will fight I don't have any problem," Ms Bannerjee said while attending the inaugural programmes of Infocom in Kolkata.

The West Bengal assembly was adjourned on Tuesday for two days after Speaker Biman Bannerjee said bills meant to be tabled had not been approved by the Governor.

Since he took office in July, Mr Dhankar has been at loggerheads with Ms Banerjee over several issues such as his demand for a helicopter to visit an event which was denied by the chief minister.

The TMC has also alleged that he was running a "parallel administration" in the state, an allegation refuted by the Governor.