Day After Letter Row, Bengal Governor In Delhi, May Meet Amit Shah, PM

Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are feuding (File)


Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar is in Delhi today and is likely to meet Home Minister Amit Shah, and possibly even Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The visit comes a day after new flashpoints in his feud with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – the public release of a letter slamming her government’s handling of post-poll violence in the state.

The governor also criticised Ms Banerjee for protests outside the CBI’s Kolkata office last month, when two of her ministers were arrested by the central agency over the Narada bribery case.

He declared that post-poll violence in the state was the “worst since independence” and that the events of May 17 – Ms Banerjee’s protest at the CBI office – were “unparalleled in democracy”.

“Your studied silence, coupled with absence of any steps to engage in rehabilitation and compensation to alleviate the unimaginable suffering of people, force an inevitable conclusion that all this is state driven,” Mr Dhankhar said in his letter.

The governor – whose friction with the Chief Minister have been regular and public over the last years – tweeted a copy of his letter to her earlier on Tuesday.

The Bengal government hit back on a series of tweets last night, calling the abrupt, unilateral release of letter to the public was “shocking” and stating that its contents were “fabricated”.

“The communication format is violative of all established norms. The letter has been written to Honourable Chief Minister and released to public media through tweets simultaneously, which disrupts sanctity of such communications,” one of the tweets read.

The state said post-poll violence was “somewhat unabated” when the Election Commission was in charge of law and order. The cabinet restored order once it was back in control, it said.

The police have been “firmly directed” to take action against all anti-socials and the government is “committed to maintaining basic fabric of society and uphold law and order”, read another tweet.

Ms Banerjee, who took oath as Chief Minister for a third straight term early last month, has said that after the pandemic, law and order in the state is her top priority.

The BJP has alleged that after the Trinamool Congress’s sweeping victory in the April-May election its goons killed BJP workers, attacked women members, vandalised houses, looted shops belonging to party members and ransacked its offices.

Since election results were declared May 2, the party has kept the focus on this claim, seeking reports from the governor, organising visits led by party chief JP Nadda, and holding review meets.

One of those meets was in Delhi between Prime Minister Modi and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari – Ms Banerjee’s former right-hand man whose sensational switch to the opposition party triggered a vicious war of words and an electoral race between the two from Nandigram that she lost.


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