Dhankhar averts showdown with the TMC government, reads outPTI | Kolkata | Updated: 07-02-2020 20:46 IST | Created: 07-02-2020 20:46 IST
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday averted a showdown by not deviating from the speech prepared by the Mamata Banerjee government for his customary address to the Assembly at the beginning of the budget session. Dhankar, whose speech reflected the policies and programmes of the TMC government, said "intolerance, bigotry and hatred" are the "new norms in the country" and "rejection of all forms of dissent is the new fashion in the name of patriotism".
Dhankhars adherence to the speech prepared by the state government came a day after he said in Santiniketan that as the constitutional head of the state he was within his right to make suggestions and hoped those would be incorporated in his speech. This had raised speculation that he might follow Kerala Governor Arif Mohd Khan who had injected in his address a disclaimer for the portions of he did not agree with.
The TMC government refused to change the final draft of the speech and in the end Dhankhar did not go for any confrontation. Later on in a tweet, Dhankhar justifying his action said "I delivered the address in the high traditions of the Constitution. I do hope all will pay due obeisance to the Constitution", He said, "This is the only way to serve the people and enhance democratic values. I urge those in authority to desist from methodology not sanctified by constitution." The opposition Congress and CPI(M), however, slammed the state government for not putting out any "anti-Centre" statement in the Governors speech and said it was a "got-up match between the TMC and BJP".
"At present our country is at a critical juncture. The basic values and principles of our Constitution are under challenge...Spreading misinformation is the order of the day and rejection of all forms of dissent is the new fashion in the name of patriotism," Dhankhar said while reading out from the written text. The governor condoled "the tragic loss of innocent lives" in the country because of panic over the proposed nationwide NRC.
"There is a general air of intolerance, bigotry and hatred that is straining the variegated thread of unity tying together all the linguistic, religious and ethnic diversities in the country," he tweeted. Before adopting any drastic measures, all sections of people must be taken into confidence. "The state government is strongly against division of people in the name of steps like National Population Register (NPR), NRC or CAA," he said.
"Our nationhood is a study in plurality. We have inherited from our forefathers as India which never discriminated amongst the communities in terms of caste, creed, religion or food habits. "The need for the moment for us is deep instrospection and re-dedication to the the guiding principles enshrined in our constitution," Dhankhar said.
The TMC legislators were seen donned in anti-CAA, NRC T-shirts, badges and aprons during his address. After his speech, Dhankhar met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay at the latter's chamber in the Assembly premises.
This is the first time that Dhankhar after delivering his address held a meeting with Banerjee and Bandopadhyay which lasted for half an hour. Reacting to the governor's address, Leader of opposition Abdul Mannan, who is from the Congress, slammed the TMC government for not putting any "anti-centre" statement in the speech.
"From the speech itself you can make out the kind of adjustment TMC and BJP have. There is not a single mention about anti-people policies of the Modi government. It seems TMC is trying to send out a message to BJP," Mannan said. Echoing him, the Left Front legislative party leader Sujan Chakraborty said both the governor and TMC have engaged in "a mock fight to fool the masses".
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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