The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday moved a censure motion in the West Bengal Assembly against the BJP, alleging “unbecoming conduct” of the opposition party MLAs.
State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee moved the motion of condemnation in the second half of the day. The state government has taken this step following an incident that took place on Tuesday wherein the BJP MLAs marched from the Assembly to the Raj Bhavan, appealing to the Governor not to sign these Bills.
Though several Bills have been passed in the Assembly for making the Chief Minister the Chancellor of the state-run universities in place of the Governor, they have not yet been signed by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
Later, the Governor said that every Bill will be scrutinised and he will sign only the ones that are in accordance with the law.
Speaker Biman Banerjee also criticised behaviour of the opposition MLAs.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister and TMC MLA Partha Chatterjee said the BJP MLAs were “ruining” the dignity of the House.
A slew of Bills was recently passed in the Assembly, which sought to replace the Governor with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the chancellor of various state-run and -aided universities. Chatterjee pointed out that the BJP MLAs had also participated and lost in the voting held for the passage of the Bills, and their “move to ask the Governor to now withhold the bills was uncalled for”.“They are ruining the dignity of the Legislative Assembly. This meeting (between the Opposition MLAs and the governor) is strongly being condemned…” he said.
Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay also criticised the opposition leaders over the issue. “You (BJP MLAs) are tarnishing the image of the Assembly. It is improper to go to your Governor and ask him not to approve the Bills,” Bandyopadhyay said.
The BJP legislators had on Tuesday met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan, shortly after the West Bengal University of Health Sciences Amendment Bill, 2022, which also sought to appoint the CM as the institute’s chancellor in place of the governor, was passed in the House.
They submitted a memorandum to the Governor, opposing the Bills.
Dhankhar, following the meeting, said, “I will look into the bills very carefully. I will not hold any bias. If it is acceptable, I will sign. If not, I will talk to the government. I will not sacrifice democracy.”
Last week, too, the BJP had alleged that appointing the chief minister as chancellor of varsities would lead to “direct political interference” in the state’s higher education system.
–With inputs from PTI