KOLKATA: The tussle between West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the state government reached the Parliament Monday when TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy raised the issue of the governor "exceeding his brief" and trying to run a parallel administration in the state.
The development comes a day after the TMC Parliamentary Party led by MP Sudip Bandopadhyay complained to Union Home Minister Amit Shah about the role played by Dhankhar.
Roy told a Bengali news channel that he had spoken in the Rajya Sabha of "how the governor is doing politics and is exceeding his brief on a regular basis".
"The governor is exceeding his brief on a regular basis. He is trying to run a parallel administration in Bengal. What the governor is doing does not behove him as he is ocuppying a constitutional post. If he wants to do politics, he is free to do so. But then he should leave Raj Bhawan and openly do politics. I have raised the matter in Parliament," Roy told the news channel.
Bandopadhyay, who met Shah during the all-party meeting in New Delhi on Sunday, said "The governor is running a parallel administration in the state. This is against parliamentary democracy. We have told the union home minister to summon the governor and give him proper guidance."
Dhankhar said the allegations against him are "completely baseless" and wondered which department of the government he has been running.
On Roy's statement in the floor of Parliament, Dhankhar said a parliamentarian is free to speak on its floor.
"I myself have been a parliamentary affairs minister. So I think a parliamentarian has every right to speak on the floor of the house. He is free to express his views. I have nothing to comment on it," Dhankhar told reporters while addressing a programme at Siliguri.
Countering Bandopadhyay's statement, Dhankhar said neither the government officials nor the chief secretary report to him.
"Despite asking the chief secretary to meet me, he didn't have time in last three months to do so. So it is ridiculous to accuse me of trying to run a parallel government," the West Bengal governor said.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh mocked TMC for raising the issue of government-governor tussle in Parliament and wondered whether the TMC MPs have mentioned the "adjectives" that they had used against Dhankhar to demean him.
"I want to ask TMC MPs whether they had mentioned the kind of words they had used against the governor to insult and demean him. Charity always begins at home - first they (TMC) should look to rectifying their misdeeds and then blame others," Ghosh, an MP, said.
The verbal spat between the Trinamool Congress government and the governor started soon after he assumed office in July end.
The two sides have been locked in a war of words in a number of issues -- ranging from Dhankhar's seating at the Durga Puja carnival to comments on his security since he rushed to Jadavpur University on September 19 to "rescue" Union minister Babul Supriyo, who had been gheraoed by a section of students.
The latest issue was the state government's refusal to provide the helicopter sought by Dhankhar to travel to Murshidabad for a programme and return to the city on Friday.
Dhankar attempted to convene administrative meetings in several places but it evoked only lukewarm response from invitees, who were state government officials.
He repeatedly countered by saying that what he was doing was well within his constitutional limits and he was well aware of it.