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Mamata accuses Governor Dhankar of transgressing constitutional dharma as face-off turns ugly

In a strongly worded seven-page letter to the governor, Banerjee said Dhankhar has forgotten that she is the 'elected chief minister of a proud Indian state' whereas he is nominated.

Published: 23rd April 2020 08:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2020 08:59 PM   |  A+A-

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar R and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee share a light moment on the first day of Budget Session at the State Assembly in Kolkata Friday Feb. 7 2020.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar R and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee share a light moment on the first day of Budget Session at the State Assembly in Kolkata Friday Feb. 7 2020. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

KOLKATA: Responding to Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar’s recent letter, his statement and tweet over the issue of central team’s Bengal visit, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote a five-page letter on Thursday for "repeatedly interfering in the functioning of the state administration".

In a strong-worded letter, she asked him to judge who has crossed the limit of constitutional dharma and the norms of decency between the two constitutional functionaries.

The face-off between the Governor and the state government commenced a week ago when Dhankar started issuing statements on his Twitter handle over the issue of supplying food grain for the poor through public distribution system (PDS) and the state’s non-cooperation with the central teams visiting Bengal.

The constitutional functionaries locked up in a war of words on several occasions since Dhankar had assumed office last year. Trivial issues like Dhankar’s sitting arrangement in a carnival was not even spared.

On Thursday, Dhankar tweeted, "Urge @MamataOfficial to ensure the seamless way forward for Central Teams. Concerned at Rebuff to Central Teams. Red Carpet visit of WHO to East Midnapur and Bishnupur. What outcome and gain of WHO visit? Declare! Time to take to Constitution. Let concerned handle Mikes/Brooms".

In her letter, Mamata also mentioned the content of Dhankar’s letter to her and her reply to him saying "Your last SMS of 22/04/2020, sent by you around 7 am, is so unprecedented in tone tenor and language that it deserves to be reproduced".

In Thursday letter to Dhankar, Mamata wrote, "You appear to have forgotten that I am elected chief minister of a proud Indian state. You also seem to have forgotten that you are a nominated Governor. You may continue to ignore all advice and inputs given by me and my council of ministers (as you appear to have taken upon yourself to do since the day of you appointment), but at least you should not ignore the wise words of Babasaheb Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly on 31/5/1949: We felt the powers of the Governor were so limited, so nominal, his position so ornamental that probably very few would come forward to stand for election".

The chief minister also mentioned five examples of the Sarkaria Commission’s categorical observations.

Mamata also mentioned five of Dhankar’s act and asked him to judge himself. "…you have to judge for yourself whether your direct attacks on me, your direct attacks on my ministers and officers, your tone, tenor and language, which, in the mildest words of extreme moderation, deserve to be characterised as unparliamentary, your holding of press conferences against the state government (of which you are the Governor), your repeated and consistent interference in the administration of my ministers and departments".

"Your expostulation leaves me with no option but to release these letters in the public domain to leave it to the people of this state and of this nation to judge for themselves as to who had done what and who is in breach of elementary norms of constitutional behaviour," she concluded.

Responding to Mamata’s Thursday’s letter, he wrote on his Twitter handle,"A communication @MamataOfficial has been received. Outrageously factually wrong and constitutionally infirm. My initial response will be shared with the media around 7.45 PM today. And a final one tomorrow at 11 am. People of the state need to know the real picture".

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