KOLKATA: The acrimonious exchange between the West Bengal government and state Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar refused to die down after his request for a chopper to attend a programme in Murshidabad district was turned down by the ruling TMC.
The government called the governor's request for a chopper "absurd" and "misuse of public money".
Dhankhar, who has been at loggerheads with the state government since assuming charge in July end, in a veiled attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said "some people are using their tongue too often and very loosely" without understanding his statements.
The governor, who undertook a 600 km trip from the city to Murshidabad and back by car to attend the silver jubilee of Prof Syed Nurul Hasan College after the rejection of his request for the chopper, also criticised the state government for the "poor condition" of roads.
Reacting to Banerjee's statement on Thursday that those holding constitutional posts have become BJP mouthpieces and are trying to run a parallel government, he said "some people are using their tongue too often and very loosely" but that will not deter him from serving the people of the state.
"There is no need to play every ball in cricket. I will continue to serve the people of the state," Dhankhar said adding no one should make a comment without properly understanding his statements.
Slamming the state government for not responding to his request for a helicopter, Dhankhar said he responds within 24 hours whenever he gets a communication from Banerjee.
"I was astonished to find that there was no response from the government. My office had apprised the state government for a chopper well in advance but there was no response," Dhankhar told reporters in Murshidabad.
"I tried to get a helicopter, but for some reason or another the request was not granted. So I had to make the 600 km journey by road," he said.
Trinamool Congress questioned the need for a helicopter for the governor's travel.
Senior TMC leader Chandrima Bhattacharya said, "Why does he need a chopper? He should first clarify that properly. The demand is absurd and giving into such demands tantamounts to misuse of public money," "The governor should stop behaving like a party leader," she said.
This was the second time this week that the governor's request for a helicopter haS been turned down by the state government.
Earlier this week he had requested for a helicopter to travel to Shantipur in Nadia district to attend a festival.
Dhankhar said the state government's reaction to his statements expressing his desire to visit Singur and Nandigram have been "quite astonishing".
Singur and Nandigram are the most politically significant places as they played the key role in catapulting TMC and its supremo Mamata Banerjee to power in the state by ending the 34-year-long Left Front rule.
"Since the day I had expressed my desire to visit Singur and Nandigram, the (government) reactions have been quite astonishing. It seems someone is trying to hide something," the governor said.
Reacting to Dhankhar statements, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said the people of Bengal know who is trying to exceed his brief.
"I think he (Dhankhar) should be the last person to talk about using the tongue loosely. The people of Bengal can see who is exceeding his brief. He is talking about visting Nandigram and Singur. Where was he when anti-land acquisition protests were going on in the two places in 2006-07 ?" Chatterjee said.
The war of words between the governor and the state government broke out barely a day after the previous one over distribution of relief after the devastation wrought by Cyclone 'Bulbul'.
Dhankhar had paid an unscheduled visit to the BDO office of Singur on Monday on his way back to the city from Shantiniketan after attending the convocation of Visva-Bharati University.