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Governor to the rescue in West Bengal

Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: In a rare move, West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi led the Assembly on Monday in singing the national anthem at the start of its budget session, following a failure in the audio system.

It is customary that the anthem is played prior to and at the conclusion of the Governor’s address to the Assembly to mark the commencement of the session.

Mr. Gandhi stood at the podium waiting for the anthem to begin.

But after an awkward moment of silence, when it failed to come across through the audio system, he chose to lead the House into singing the anthem, gesturing to the legislators to join him.

The well-attended House also took his cue to sing at the conclusion of his address.

Speaker H.A. Halim later said the Secretary of the Assembly has been asked to conduct a thorough probe into the failure of the audio system and instruct the authorities to take the necessary action to prevent recurrence.

Mr. Halim attributed the audio failure to a technical snag in the system through which the anthem is transmitted –– something that has not happened in the course of his tenure in office over more than two decades.

Members of the Opposition held the government responsible for the lapse and demanded an inquiry.

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