Bengal governor accuses TMC government of not providing information sought on bill
Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday accused the Mamata Banerjee-led government of not providing information he sought on Howrah Municipal Corporation amendment bill sent to him for his assent.
The Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that proposed to separate Bally Municipality from the jurisdiction of the HMC, was passed by the state assembly recently.
The governor also alleged that assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee blamed him for not signing the bill and withholding it, which he termed as "unfortunate".
"I had sought information on the bill on November 24, but since then I have not received that. The assembly speaker chose to blame me for not signing the bill and withholding it. His comment is unfortunate. I urge him to maintain dignity of the chair," Dhankhar said after visiting Padma Shri awardee cartoonist Narayan Debnath at his residence in Howrah.
The governor had earlier made the same allegation and returned the bill to the state government for reconsideration.
Dhankhar had also said that he is yet to receive information sought from the speaker on other issues, too, since 2019. The speaker, however, had claimed that full cooperation was provided whenever any information was sought for.
"The allegations that the honourable governor has made are baseless. Whenever he has asked for anything or has made any queries, we have fully cooperated with him. But he has a habit of finding flaws in everything," Banerjee had said on December 6.
Replying to Dhankhar's allegations, state minister Firhad Hakim said, "When a bill is passed in the assembly, it is for the good of people as we have been elected by them. The governor is not elected but nominated. Withholding the bill is akin to suppressing the voice of people", he added.
Bally Municipality was a part of the Howrah Municipal Corporation since 2015.
Minister of State for Urban and Municipal Affairs Chandrima Bhattacharya had said the idea behind the bifurcation is to provide improved service to people.
Opposition BJP, however, had claimed that Bally Municipality was separated from HMC because of political reasons.