Governor, Speaker spar over Howrah Municipality bill

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THE WAR of words between Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Assembly speaker Biman Banerjee over the Howrah Municipal Corporation bill, that the Governor is yet to sign, continued on Monday. The Speaker alleged that civic polls in Howrah were not being held due to the “reluctance” of the Governor. Dhankar retaliated by saying that the Speaker was only busy attacking him. Opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari also targeted the state government on the issue.

The Speaker on Monday alleged that Governor was behaving in a “biased” manner. He also questioned why the Howrah Municipality Bill was not signed if the Central Agriculture Bill could be signed within a day. On the other hand, Dhankar questioned why the Speaker was busy attacking him without doing the work related to the Assembly.

The Governor tweeted, “Stunned & surprised @BimanBanerjee18 stance at Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) bill, 2021 pending consideration for want of as response @MamataOfficial to issue flagged on November 24. Worrisome: Speaker WBLA for over a year has not made available record in other matters.”

Opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari has supported Governor and alleged, “The government had appointed party leaders as administrators in Howrah without holding a referendum. The governor wanted to know a few things like this. Even if the governor had signed the bill, Howrah could not have polled with Kolkata.”

Meanwhile, on Monday, The State Election Commission informed the Calcutta High Court that they had already initiated dialogue with the state government on conducting poll in those municipality due and that elections for the remaining municipalities would be held in 6-8 phases within the month of May 2022. However, the opposing parties did not get the copy of the response filed by the SEC on time, the Bench adjourned the matter for further hearing till Tuesday, December 7.

On the other hand, the state government is yet to give the details of security arrangements during the polling process of Kolkata Municipal election to State Election Commission. However, SEC sources said the state government is firming up the details, considering that there will be no central force during the whole poll process.

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