Bengal Governor furious at Didi’s ‘irresponsible’ government at Constitution Day celebrations

Kolkata: West Bengal Governor and Chancellor of Jadavpur University Jagdeep Dhankhar interacts with the media after attending a meeting of Jadavpur University's highest decision making body 'Court'' to decide on the names of recipients of honorary degrees, in Kolkata, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra) (PTI10_18_2019_000152A)

New Delhi: Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar questioned the unresponsive stance of the state government to the questions raised by him on various issues facing Bengal, threatening to take legal recourse if the state continues to ignore his office.

“I keep asking him questions, but I don’t get any answers. Is it wrong to ask a question?” Governor Dhankhar said during a function organized to celebrate Constitution Day at the statue of BR Ambedkar in the assembly premises on Tuesday morning.

The Governor’s remarks were made in the presence of Speaker Biman Banerjee.

“There is no law and order in the state. Here the ruling party’s writ runs. It is a matter of shame for the state in front of the entire country. The situation here is terrible,” Dhankhar said. “Voters play the most important role in electoral democracy. In Bengal, voters do not have the freedom to use their choice.

Dhankhar’s tenure at the Raj Bhavan, which began during Mamata Banerjee’s second term, has been one of a series of continuous firings from both sides. The governor is sending letters one after the other to the state administration, including the chief minister and chief secretary, on issues that have the potential to put the state government in jeopardy.

Exactly a month ago, Dhankhar had called a meeting of vice chancellors of 11 universities across the state, to which none of the invitees turned up.

He had also red-flagged the state’s appointment of vice-chancellors in 24 universities without the permission of the office of the Chancellor, that is, the governor.

“Twenty-four vice-chancellors were appointed without the consent of the governor. There are no such appointments anywhere else in the country. I called the vice-chancellors to discuss how to improve the quality of education in the state. Instead of participating in the VCs formed a union,” Dhankhar said. “I had asked the state government about the cost of running the Maa canteen. I haven’t received the account details yet.”

Soon after Mamata’s third term, in the post-poll violence, which the chief minister has vehemently denied, the governor took exception and visited the affected areas, including Cooch Behar. Meanwhile, Mamata has often taken a dig at the residents of the Raj Bhavan. His ministers, including the late Subrata Mukherjee, have spoken out against Dhankhar’s “interference” in administrative matters.

“I will only say that the Governor’s speech on today’s occasion has brought down the high office. His allegations are not true,” said Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee.