TMC MLA refuses Bengal governor’s invitation to take oath at Raj Bhavan

The act is in defiance of the custom of governor assigning speaker or deputy speaker to do the needful in cases of by-poll winners, TMC alleges

Trinamool legislator Sayantika Banerjee (photo: @sayantika12/X)
Trinamool legislator Sayantika Banerjee (photo: @sayantika12/X)


Adding a fresh twist to the latest TMC-governor flashpoint, newly elected Trinamool legislator Sayantika Banerjee met West Bengal speaker Biman Banerjee on Monday, 24 June, and announced her intention to take oath in the Assembly instead of the Raj Bhavan, as asked by governor CV Ananda Bose.

Banerjee, who was elected MLA in the Baranagar by-polls which coincided with the Lok Sabha elections, later told reporters that she has shot off a letter to Raj Bhavan stating her intentions to skip the governor-mandated oath.

A Raj Bhavan official, however, told PTI that the governor was yet to receive any such communication.

The latest faceoff between the Bengal governor and the state’s ruling TMC was triggered by a Raj Bhavan communication inviting two newly elected MLAs of Bhagwangola and Baranagar, Reyat Hossain Sarkar and Banerjee respectively, to be present on 26 July for their swearing-in ceremony.

The act, the TMC alleged, was in defiance of the custom of the governor assigning the speaker or the deputy speaker of the House to do the needful in cases of by-poll winners.

The Raj Bhavan letter also reportedly has no mention of who would administer the oath to the new MLAs.

“More than two weeks have passed since I have been elected and I only have a year and a half left to work for the people of my constituency. This complication over swearing-in is hampering my job as a legislator. I have, hence, written to the Governor requesting him to allow me to take oath before the Assembly speaker since this is the place I will be working from,” Banerjee said.

State minister Firhad Hakim who accompanied Banerjee during her meeting with the speaker related how he was himself administered oath by erstwhile Speaker Hasim Abdul Halim when he first won an Assembly by-poll back in 2009.

“By doing such things this governor is repeatedly trying to curb the rights of the Speaker who is the custodian of the Assembly. The Governor is betraying the people by stopping the oath of a representative who is elected by the people, unlike him who holds a Centre-nominated chair. He is thwarting the rules and conventions of the Assembly where all members are under the custody of the speaker. Who is he trying to satisfy?” Hakim lashed out.

He said, “The members can’t serve people until they take their oath. Who is the Governor to stop this process? Can the governor go against the people’s verdict? Why is he creating such unnecessary drama without rhyme or reason?”

Calling the swearing-in of MLAs a “Constitutional convention”, speaker Biman Banerjee said he considered it a “misfortune” to witness such developments in current times.

“If the governor is so keen to administer oaths, let him come to the Assembly and hold that ceremony. We will make all necessary arrangements,” he said.

The speaker said he wasn’t aware of any instance where an MP who won a by-poll was sworn in by the president of India.

“The new Lok Sabha began its business today and we witnessed the protem speaker administering oaths to the newly elected MPs. The president was nowhere in the picture today,” he said.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines