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BJP MLAs Protest Over Post-poll Violence, Force Guv Dhankar to Cut Short Bengal Assembly Speech

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

Dhankhar had recently expressed his reservations over the speech drafted by the West Bengal government after he found some crucial points missing from the 14-page note.

Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had to cut short his inaugural budget session speech on Friday after BJP MLAs launched a protest against the post-poll violence and deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

Speculations are rife that Dhankhar had to cut short his speech as there was no mention of post-poll violence in the address copy drafted by the state government.

Dhankhar had recently expressed his reservations over the speech (of Friday’s budget session) drafted by the West Bengal government after he found some crucial points missing from the 14-page note. He said wanted to discuss those missing points with Mamata Banerjee.

On June 28, Banerjee had a word with the governor over phone during which he categorically mentioned to the issues he had with some points mentioned in the speech copy. The same day Banerjee addressed a press conference and accused Dhankhar of his involvement in the Jain Hawala case and termed him a ‘corrupt’ man.

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“She is a mature leader and politician, and such remarks from her against me are extremely unfortunate. Ten minutes before the press conference (by Mamata Banerjee), she called me regarding my concern over some pointers mentioned in my address copy. Soon after my reservations over some points, she held a press conference and accused me of being a corrupt person,” the Governor had said on June 28.

BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, said that Dhankhar may have left the Assembly without reading the full speech because he had objected to some missing points in the speech copy which he felt were necessary to be highlighted.

“There was no mention of post-poll violence in the Governor’s speech which happened after the counting on May 2. Surprisingly, in the draft it was mentioned that there no post-poll violence took place in Bengal. We felt that it may be possible that the governor was saddened with the content of the speech drafted by Banerjee and therefore may have cut short his speech and left the Assembly,” Adhikari said.

“We are thankful to the governor for highlighting law and order issues in the state with the ruling government and through social media. He is a humble person and he will be able to clarify why he cut short his speech,” he added.

This is not the first time that Dhankhar has expressed his dissatisfaction over the content of the speech. On February 7, last year, he had expressed dismay after his post-budget speech was not allowed for a live telecast allegedly by the state government.

Then, there were apprehensions that he may change the budget speech (ratified by the state government). It was alleged that to avoid public embarrassment, his speech was blocked from being live telecast.

However, (then) Dhankhar read the speech drafted by the state government without making any changes.

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first published:July 02, 2021, 16:10 IST