Bengal BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari met Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar today to seek his intervention in the appointment of Mukul Roy as chairman of the key Public Accounts Committee or PAC.
An MLA from the North Krishnanagar seat, Mukul Roy won in the recent assembly election on a BJP ticket but joined the Trinamool Congress in June in the presence of Mamata Banerjee. Yet, he was appointed PAC chief, a position traditionally reserved for the opposition.
Describing it as a violation of Rule 302 of the West Bengal Assembly, Mr Adhikari said: "The spenders of public money cannot also be its auditor. Because that was bad for democracy, the post of Public Accounts Committee chairman has always gone to the Opposition since 1967. That convention has now been overturned."
The BJP's Leader of the Opposition in assembly claimed the Trinamool did so because it wanted to hide corruption in the government and cited ongoing probes into Amphan relief funds and pandemic purchases among others.
The BJP has been protesting against the appointment of Mukul Roy, who is yet to resign his assembly seat.
"We had proposed six names for the post, including noted economist Ashok Lahiri," Mr Adhikari said.
"The speaker could have chosen any one of the 6 BJP MLAs. But he did not. Mukul Roy was not nominated by us. Roy was proposed by a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha MLA and seconded by a TMC MLA. Why was it done? We want the Governor to intervene." He added.
The BJP plans to complain about the "violation of democratic norms" to the President, the Lok Sabha Speaker, and the Speakers and Leaders of Opposition of other states in the coming weeks.
The Trinamool has argued that Mr Roy is still a member of the BJP in the assembly and is eligible for appointment.
The party's senior leader Subrata Mukherjee said. "Mr Roy continues to be a BJP member in the Assembly."
"It has been a long-established tradition to appoint a senior leader of the opposition camp, who has experience in Parliament, as the PAC chairman. The speaker has simply followed that norm," he was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
Ace Trinamool strategist Mukul Roy, who had joined the BJP in 2017, returned to the ruling party with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's active role in his homecoming.