KOLKATA: Sparks continued flying between West Bengal governor and chief minister as Jagdeep Dhankar, in response to Mamata Banerjee’s five-page letter to him, shot back a 14-page reply on Friday accusing her of appeasing the minority community and diverting people’s attention from her abject failure in combating and containing Coronavirus in the state.
Referring to the CM's statement describing him as a ‘nominated’, governor Dhankar said he was appointed by the President and not nominated.
The face-off between the chief minister and the constitutional head of the state began after Banerjee made her five-page letter to Dhankar public on Thursday afternoon. She accused the governor of repeatedly interfering in the functioning of the state administration and asked him to judge who has "crossed the limit of constitutional dharma and decency".
Her letter came in the backdrop of Dhankar repeatedly voicing concern over the state government's handling of COVID-19 pandemic.
In his letter with 37-paragraphs, Dhankar wrote, "I can figure out that your entire strategy is crafted to deliberately divert people’s attention from your
abject failure in combating and containing coronavirus in West Bengal. Your appeasement of the minority community was so explicit and awkward that as to a question about the Nizamuddin Markaz incident by a journalist, your reaction was "do not ask communal questions". This is most unfortunate and you will appreciate that a perpetrator can never position as a victim."
Dhankar disowned Banerjee’s allegations of attacking the CM, her ministers, and officers. Referring to the central team's Bengal visit, Dhankar asked, "How
worrisome it is as ours is the only state where the central teams, whose only role is affirmative and in aid of the state, are made to face unwholesome scenario. Your cover-up ‘mechanism’ would lead to very painful results. Banning of mobile phones inside isolation wards is also a case in point."
The governor labelled Banerjee’s letter to him is part of her ‘alibi strategy’ emanates from a script that seeks to cover up her ‘monumental failure’.
He said he is neither a ‘rubber stamp’ nor a ‘post office’. Dhankar accused Banerjee of adopting an accusatory mode — be it with the governor or central government. "If I have to be faithful to my oath, surely I cannot be fiddling in Raj Bhawan when people of the state are stressed. I cannot turn ‘Nelson’s eye’ to serious issues being faced by the people during this crisis", he wrote.