West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will on October 7 administer the oath of office to chief minister Mamata Banerjee and two newly elected MLAs who won the September 30 assembly bypolls, at the premises of the legislative assembly.
The West Bengal confirmed the news through a tweet earlier in the day.
The development comes a day after Jagdeep Dhankhar withdrew Bengal assembly speaker Biman Banerjee’s power to administer the oath of office to the members of the state legislature, citing Section 188 of the Constitution, which empowers the governor to administer the oath.
Officials familiar with the development said this was the first time a Bengal governor has taken such a step, which, they fear, is likely to escalate tensions between the governor and the speaker.
Soon after, West Bengal’s parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee requested the governor’s office to administer the oath of office to the elected leaders on October 7.
Dhankhar also tweeted to inform that the swearing-in cermony would take place at 2pm, instead of 11.45am as notified by his office earlier.
According to convention, it is the speaker who administers the oath to legislators while the governor administers oath of office to ministers.
Mamata Banerjee won the bypolls to Bhabanipur assembly constituency by a massive margin of 58,835 votes against her closest contender, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Priyanka Tibrewal.
Two other Trinamool Congress MLAs Jakir Hossain and Amirul Islam won the assembly seats from Jangipur and Samserganj, respectively, with a record margin.
Mamata Banerjee needs to be sworn in as a member of the assembly by November 4 to retain the chair of the chief minister.
Trinamool Congress leaders said Mamata Banerjee wants the formalities to be completed before the Durga Puja festival which is a week away.
Banerjee, who was defeated in the March-April assembly polls from Nandigram, was sworn in as chief minister on May 5, giving her six months to be elected to the legislature.
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