In an unusual development, West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on February 24 summoned the budget session of the state assembly at 2 am on March 7.
However, the governor made it clear that he only accepted the West Bengal cabinet decision to summon the assembly session at such an odd hour.
“Summoning WBLA Invoking Article 174 (1) of Constitution, accepting Cabinet Decision, Assembly has been summoned to meet on March 07, 2022 at 2 am. Assembly meeting after midnight at 2.00 am is unusual and history of sorts in making, but that is Cabinet Decision,” Dhankhar tweeted.
He also shared the order of him summoning the assembly.
The governor said that he found the timing of the assembly odd and urged the chief secretary to meet him to discuss the issue.
“Finding the timing of the session after midnight somewhat odd, an outreach effort was made by calling the chief secretary for urgent consultations before noon today. There was the usual compliance failure. The issue was determined by accepting the cabinet decision,” Dhankhar wrote in another tweet.
Later, in a press release, Dhankhar said: “The governor has expressed his concern and displeasure at procedurally flawed and inappropriate handling of the issue of summoning of the state legislature due to dereliction of duty by officials. Failure of chief secretary, who is the secretary to cabinet, to ensure adherence to rules is apparent.”
Earlier, the governor had returned chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s recommendation to convene the assembly session from March 7, stating that the proposal did not meet constitutional norms.
“Hon’ble CM Mamata Banerjee‘s recommendation to summon assembly on March 7 had to be returned for constitutional compliance as governor summoned assembly on the recommendation made by the cabinet after due compliance of Rules of Business under article 166(3) of constitution,” Dhankhar had said in a tweet.
Dhankhar had also attached a letter that he wrote to the government as he sent back the file.
“Only option was to remit the file for constitutional compliance,” he had said.