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West Bengal: Fresh confusion over Babul Supriyo being sworn-in as MLA

1/05/2022 at 4:51 PM

Kolkata, May 1: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday cleared the file relating to the swearing-in ceremony of singer-turned-politician Babul Supriyo, the newly-elected MLA from 161-Ballygunge Assembly constituency.

The Governor authorized the Deputy Speaker of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly Dr. Asish Banerjee to administer the oath to Supriyo. But after receiving that notification, Banerjee refused to administer the oath, saying, “In the presence of the Speaker of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, it would be an insult to him if I administer the oath as the Deputy Speaker.

Public domain request of Babul Supriyo, elected to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly from 161-Ballygunge Assembly constituency seeking Governor for administration of oath by Speaker is not acceptable as not being in consonance with the Constitution, said the Governor.

Appointment of the Deputy Speaker Dr. Asish Banerjee as the person to administer oath to Babul Supriyo, elected to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly from 161-Ballygunge Assembly constituency is in conformity with article 188 of the Constitution, The Governor added.

April 27 communication, 11 days after issuance of Certificate of Election, to Speaker for his oath as MLA is jurisdictionally flawed & unwholesome optics as Speaker has no role or constitutional competency in the matter, unless so assigned by Governor, said Dhankhar.

Earlier this week, the governor refused to approve the file relating to the swearing-in ceremony. Sources in the State Assembly said that a file was sent to the Governor’s house for approval, so that the swearing-in ceremony can be held inside the Assembly premises, and Speaker Biman Banerjee is conducting the formalities for the same. The bypolls to the Ballygunge Assembly constituency were held on April 12 and the results were declared on April 16.

Babul Supriyo, the winner of Trinamool Congress, was a two-time MP from Asansol Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal and also became a minister in the Narendra Modi-led central government.

However, he joined the Trinamool Congress after the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections and resigned as the MP of Asansol. The Trinamool had fielded him as a candidate from Ballygunge, where the bypoll was necessitated following the sudden demise of former MLA and state panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee in November last year.

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