In a typographical error, Bengal Governor Dhankhar calls assembly meeting at 2 pm

New Delhi: A typographical error landed in a bizarre situation in the West Bengal Assembly on Thursday after Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar called the House for a sitting at 2 am on March 7, only to clarify later to the state government that the order mentioned Timing was a mistake.

At 2.26 pm on Thursday, Dhankhar tweeted an official order saying that he called the assembly at 2 pm on the recommendation of the state cabinet led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Implementing Article 174(1) of the Constitution, accepting the decision of the cabinet, a meeting of the Legislative Assembly was called on 07 March 2022 at 2 o’clock. Unusual and history in the making, but it is the decision of the cabinet,” Dhankhar tweeted.

As per protocol, Dhankhar addresses the House in the presence of Chief Minister Banerjee and other ministers.

The timing of the meeting aroused great curiosity. Hours later, Speaker Biman Banerjee said the timing of the meeting was a typo and the governor could have overlooked it.

“This may have been a typographical mistake and could have been overlooked. Calling the Legislative Assembly at 2 pm is an exception. Earlier two letters were sent to the Governor stating the time as 2 pm. He should have understood this and It should have been ignored. Now the decision has to be taken by the cabinet. Otherwise I will have to call the assembly at 2 in the morning as the governor had called at that time.

The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) said that later in the day, Mamata Banerjee called the governor and said it was a typographical error.

“The chief minister called up the governor to clarify that it was a typographical error. In the letter sent by the state government to the governor, except for one line, it was mentioned at 2 pm. The Chief Minister has called a fresh cabinet meeting on 28 February. A fresh proposal will be sent to the governor to call the assembly at 2 pm from the cabinet,” TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.

But Dhankhar blamed the state administration for the confusion and said he tried to reach out to the West Bengal chief secretary for consultation.

“The timing of the session after midnight seemed a bit strange, before this afternoon an outreach effort was made by calling the Chief Secretary for an urgent consultation. There was a general compliance failure. The issue was decided by accepting the decision of the cabinet,” tweeted the governor.

The TMC attacked him and called it a “childish act”. The party claimed that this was an expression of “vindictive” attitude against the Mamata Banerjee government.

“Another expression of the mindset of the @AITCofficial government and the vindictive approach against @MamataOfficial. After reading the notification one can understand that it is nothing more than a typographical mistake, as it is written everywhere except the last part at 2 pm. so childish! TMC MP in Rajya Sabha Shantanu Sen tweeted.

However, the opposition targeted the state government on this issue.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari tweeted, “Midnight session!!! The head of the state government is confused…”

“It is unimaginable and totally extraordinary. But as the name of the party is TMC and the chief minister is Mamata Banerjee, it suits them. They are a dark party that wants to do everything in the dark. They are people in broad daylight. They are slowly losing ground to face the opposition. They will gather in the dark when everyone is sleeping,” said Sujan Chakraborty of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Dhankhar responded to that line as he defended himself against the criticism. “How ironic! Governor accepts government’s recommendation and prorogues the assembly. All machinery @AITCofficial is blazing against Guv on all cylinders. Governor convenes assembly at 2.0 am on March 07, accepting cabinet decision And faced the ruckus of the ruling party. Where are we going!”

Dhankhar and Banerjee have been on a war footing since taking office in 2019. The acrimonious relationship has hit an all-time low in recent months. Last month, CM Banerjee blocked Dhankhar on the social media platform, while his party said it would table a resolution condemning the governor’s actions in the budget session of the assembly in March.

TMC is trying to remove Dhankhar from the post of governor. Last week, the Calcutta High Court dismissed a lawyer’s plea for the same. Earlier, the TMC had decided to move a concrete motion in the Rajya Sabha criticizing the actions of the Governor, but the Speaker of the Upper House did not allow any discussion on the subject.