Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar a 'corrupt man' and questioned the purpose of his recent tour of North Bengal, alleging that a conspiracy was being hatched to divide the northern part of the state. The Chief Minister said that Governor Dhankhar's visit to North Bengal was a political stunt as he only met MLAs and MPs of the BJP.
"He is a corrupt man. He was named in the chargesheet in the 1996 Hawala Jain case. Why has the central government allowed a governor like this to continue?" she told reporters at the state secretariat, without elaborating. "Why did he suddenly tour North Bengal? I can sense a conspiracy to divide North Bengal," Mamata alleged.
The Trinamool Congress supremo also said she has written multiple letters to the Centre for the removal of Dhankhar. "As per the Constitution, I will continue to meet him, talk to him. And follow all the courtesies... But, the union government should act based on my letters," she said.
Speaker complains against governor
Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee has complained to his Lok Sabha counterpart Om Birla about the "excessive interference" of Governor in matters related to parliamentary democracy and functioning of the House. Banerjee complained to Birla about Dhankhar during the virtual All India Speakers' Conference.
"I told the Lok Sabha speaker about the excessive interference of Governor in parliamentary democracy and the functioning of the Assembly. "Despite being passed by the Assembly, several bills are lying with the governor as he has not signed them. This is unprecedented in the history of West Bengal's parliamentary democracy. Such a thing has never happened before," Banerjee said.
Dhankhar, who shares a strained relationship with the TMC government, is yet to react to the development. "We have been saying this for a long time that the present governor is acting as the mouthpiece of a specific political party. He is not only interfering in the functioning of the state of affairs but is also maligning the West Bengal government," senior TMC leader and MLA Tapas Roy said.
However, the West Bengal unit of the BJP came out in support of the governor and claimed that he has exposed the truth. "The TMC is angry with the governor as he has exposed the lawless situation in the state. There have been complaints against him earlier, but all of them were baseless," BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh said. The TMC government and Dhankhar have been sharing an acrimonious relation since he assumed office in July 2019.