Dhankar walks out without completing speech; dramatic scenes in West Bengal assembly
The first day of the budget session of the West Bengal assembly turned out to be nothing less than a high decibel drama as Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar could not complete his speech due to disruptions. According to news channels, the governor walked out of the assembly as his speech was curtailed after 3-4 minutes as BJP MLAs carrying posters and pictures of alleged victims of post-poll violence came to well to stage protest.
The governor was seen escorted by Speaker Biman Banerjee and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as he left the assembly premises.
Legislative members from the BJP followed Dhankar as they too staged a walkout. According to news agency ANI, the BJP legislators had created a ruckus during the governor's address over post-poll violence in the state. They also raised slogans of 'Jai Shri Ram'.
Later on, while speaking to the reporters, Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said the BJP legislators were forced to stage protest as there was no mention of post-poll violence in the speech copy circulated among the MLAs.
The stage for a stormy session was set by the tug of war between the state government and the governor over the latter's customary inaugural speech, which is essentially a statement prepared by the former. However, just like the previous year, Dhankhar had raised a few issues over the draft speech sent to him by the state government.
Earlier this week, following an exchange of barbs between the Raj Bhavan and the state secretariat, Dhankhar told reporters that he had raised a few questions over the speech with Banerjee, to which she had said that the state cabinet passed the draft.
According to sources, the Raj Bhavan wanted inclusion of the incidents of post-poll violence in the state to which the TMC government had an objection.
"The norm is the governor reads out the speech prepared by the state government. The governor cannot make any change as per his whims and fancies," TMC Chief Whip Nirmal Ghosh said.
Last year too, he was opposed to parts of the contents of the speech, but had read it out.