The Weekend Leader - Bengal Guv, Speaker spar over formation of Bally Municipality

Bengal Guv, Speaker spar over formation of Bally Municipality




A war of words erupted between West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the state's Legislative Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee after the latter alleged that the civic polls in the Howrah Municipal Corporation could not be conducted because the former refused to sign a Bill on the formation of Bally Municipality.

Dhankhar on the other hand alleged that Banerjee was speaking to him in an unconstitutional manner.

The controversy blew up when Banerjee in a program on Monday said: "The Municipal Corporation election of Howrah and Kolkata was supposed to take place together but as governor didn't sign the Bill quickly so the election of Howrah Municipal Corporation couldn't not be conducted. If he (Dhankhar) would have understood which was immediately needed then he would have signed the Bill."

The Speaker also queried if the President of the country can sign the farm laws in a day, then why can't the Governor sign the Bally Municipality Bill.

"Then the state could have conducted the election of both the corporations together on December 19," he added.

The Speaker was referring to the Bally Municipality Bill which was moved in the Assembly to detach 16 wards of former Bally Municipality that is presently annexed with Howrah Municipal Corporation.

The Bill was tabled and passed in the Assembly but was sent back by the governor seeking further clarification from the government.

As the formation of Bally Municipality was jeopardised, the state government had to suspend the Howrah Municipal Corporation election and conduct only the Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls.

The proposal was sent back to the Governor demanding clarification. In a four-page letter written to the Speaker, the Governor wrote: "I am constrained to observe that on quintessentially jurisdictional aspect in respect of consideration of the objections by the State Government under section 219 of the (Howrah Municipal Corporation Act, 1980) Act, the authorities have acted in an arbitrary, unfair and non-judicious manner."

Dhankar sought several documents for consideration of the Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, relating to proceedings of hearing and adjudication of objections.

The Governor asked for a full record of consideration of the objections by the state government and proceedings and full details of objections and their disposal in relation to the Howrah Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Act, 2015.

He also sought the Assembly proceedings with respect to the Bill that finally led to the Howrah Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Act, 2015.

Reacting to the Speaker's allegation, Dhankhar wrote on Twitter: "Stunned & surprised @BimanBanerjee18 stance at Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 pending consideration for want of as response @MamataOfficial to issues flagged on Nov 24. Worrisome: Speaker WBLA for over a year has not made available records in other matters."

"Speaker is not abiding by the constitution. I have done everything following the constitution. Repeatedly he said against me unconstitutionally. Before he had spoke to me in the conference of the Speakers," he added. -IANS

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