The clash between the West Bengal government and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over the post of university chancellor might take a new turn.
At a recent meeting of the state Cabinet, it was decided that the governor would be replaced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the chancellor of state universities. But in order to implement it, the state has to change the law.
Due to the majority in the Assembly, the state government will be able to easily pass the bill but the governor’s signature is needed to make it into a law. Now the question arises that whether Dhankhar will sign the crucial bill amid the unrest with the state government.
In view of this tussle, vice-chancellors are not being appointed in different universities on time. The governor and the government have a role to play in appointing vice-chancellors. It is impossible to run a university properly without a vice-chancellor. Besides, there are allegations that Dhankhar is trying to interfere in the working of universities on various pretexts.
In this situation, if Dhankhar refuses to sign the bill to make the Chief Minister the chancellor of state universities, another complication will be created.
The state government, however, may be able to handle the situation by issuing an ordinance initially. But the term of the ordinance is six months. If an ordinance is brought on the same subject repeatedly, the matter may go to court. This will lead to further complications.
In a normal scenario, the governor should give his consent to the passed bill in the Assembly in accordance with the parliamentary rules. But the way the governor is embroiled in a conflict with the government raises the question of whether he will sign his removal bill.