West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar interacts with the media at Governor's House in Kolkata on  Wednesday.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar interacts with the media at Governor's House in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Photo: ANI

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar surprised the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government by reading out the exact speech in the opening session of the budget in the state Assembly on Friday.

"There were speculations all around but I have been saying consistently, for the last six months I have been here. I would never ever cross the Lakshman Rekha defined for me by the constitution of India," said Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Saturday while saying that he would always protect the Constitution before anything.

Speculations rose when the Governor stated earlier that he was sent a draft speech by Bengal Cabinet and he had his own points as well, which were in his Constitutional rights.

"The government sent a draft to me. I received that address. I had some critical comments to make. I made my critical comments in writing to the Bengal government on 6th of February. The critical comments were in respect to law and order situation, state of universities, education, role of bureaucrats, utilisation of public funds and several other aspects. I am sure the government will focus on my inputs with an idea to interact with me on whether I was right or wrong. I will learn from this," added the Governor.

The Governor reiterated that he was sure the state government would know beyond any doubt that a Governor would never go against the Constitution and that 2020 will be a better year of interaction with the State Government. "I would do whatever I can to protect the Indian Constitution. I would try that other should get my indications for all of us the Indian Constitution should be the greatest religion. It would be our pride to work according the constitution. If there will be disobeying constitution and that will be the time when Governor will step in," said the Governor.

While emphasizing that he would spell out the truth whatsoever, the Governor said there were problems with budget issues and despite State Finance Minister Amit Mitra meeting him, he did not give a sanction. It was only later when the Chief Secretary came to him that and he walked away with a sanction. “This Governor will not delay sanctions and hold up working of the government,” he emphasized while making his point.

The Governor and the State Government including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have been at loggerheads on various issues including Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizenship (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). The Governor, however, read out the speech during the opening session of the State budget on Friday in the Assembly which spoke about fear and intolerance in the country in the wake of the burning citizenship amendment issue which the TMC has been protesting against in a major way.

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