High drama was witnessed on the first day of the budget session of the West Bengal assembly on Monday as Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was forced to table his inaugural address with Bharatiya Janata Party legislators staging a protest in the House over alleged violence in the recently concluded civic elections in the state.
Dhankhar, who arrived in the assembly at 2 pm to deliver the inaugural address, could not do it as BJP legislators carrying posters and photographs of alleged victims of civic poll violence came down to the well to stage a protest.
The governor was seen pleading with the BJP MLAs to let the proceedings begin but the saffron MLAs remained adamant. They raised 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' slogans.
As the governor was about to leave the House, ruling party MLAs including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee requested him to stay, following which Dhankhar again urged the BJP lawmakers to calm down, but in vain.
Trinamool Congress members also raised anti-BJP slogans from 2.26 pm onwards.
Irritated over the protest, Dhankhar thrice tried to leave the House but his way was blocked by TMC legislators.
The high drama and disruption of proceedings continued till 3 pm.
Following repeated requests by the treasury bench, Dhankhar tabled his speech and left.
Later, the chief minister said that the BJP's protest was aimed at creating constitutional unrest but it was averted as the governor accepted her request to table his speech.
"What BJP did today in the assembly is a shame for democracy. It is unprecedented. The saffron party wanted to create a constitutional crisis. We requested the governor to read at least one line from his speech and table it in the House. He kept our request. We are thankful to him," she told reporters.
LoP and BJP's Nandigram MLA Suvendu Adhikari said that opposition members wanted to register their protest against alleged incidents of violence and rigging during the civic polls.
In July last year, Dhankhar was forced to cut short his inaugural address to the newly constituted assembly amid protests by opposition BJP against alleged post-poll violence in the state.