On Wednesday, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar denied allegations levelled by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) that he was withholding the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Bill that needed to be passed further to the State Commission, saying that he is 'disturbed' by these allegations. "I am pained, shocked and disturbed with the attitude of the government. It is shocking, how can a government in a democratic setup, act in this manner?" He also stated that the ball was in the government's court after the government took a decision on the ST/SC commission on November 25 after which, they were the ones that caused delays.
"I have nothing to say on that but the file was not sent to me on 25th, 26th or 27th of November. It came to me on 29th in the late afternoon. There was a holiday on November 30 and December 1. The government sat with it for five days. The moment the work was started, I passed an order to process it," he added.
On Tuesday after the governor sent a message to Speaker Biman Banerjee regarding the State Commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Bill, 2019, members of the TMC party staged a protest at the Legislative Assembly premises raising slogans against the Governor demanding an explanation for withholding his assent for so long. Responding to this, Governor Dhankar slammed the 'negligent' attitude of the TMC government saying that they were 'playing politics in the temple of democracy.' However, TMC painted another picture.
TMC's Manish Gupta claimed that the SC/ST bill was a long time requirement and after it was passed by the Assembly, it was sent to the Governor for his signature who then sat on the bill for 7-8 days. He also further called him 'an agent of BJP.' The West Bengal assembly was adjourned last week on two days after the Speaker said that the bills meant to be tabled had not been approved by the Governor.
"The assembly is not running because he has withheld the Bill. This is an insult to the Constitution, the people of West Bengal, and the SCs and STs. The Governor should be called back by the Centre, or we have seen Raj Bhawans turned into 'Shakhaas'." said TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien.
(with ANI inputs)