KOLKATA: A fresh spell of war of words erupted between governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Monday after the latter branded the former a "corrupt man" and also accused him of being in the chargesheet of the Jain Hawala case.
Mamata also attacked the governor over his three-day north Bengal visit. She alleged that it was part of the BJP's game to split the northern part of the state from the rest. BJP MP in north Bengal John Barla recently demanded that the northern part of the state should be made a Union Territory.
In retaliation, Dhankhar termed the allegation as "far from the truth". The governor said the attack on him was a fallout of his letter asking Mamata to make changes in the draft of his Assembly speech scheduled on July 2.
"I have written three letters to the Centre requesting the removal of the governor. I am sorry to say that he is a corrupt man. His name was in the chargesheet of the Hawala Jain case. Why should he dictate us terms even after we came to power with a huge mandate?" Mamata asked.
Dhankhar said, "Her statement is unfortunate. It was not expected from a senior politician of her stature. Her allegation over the Hawala case is far from fact. My name was not mentioned in the chargesheet. Besides, all those whose names were mentioned in the chargesheet were acquitted."
Referring to Dhankhar’s comment on conducting an audit of north Bengal’s autonomous district council Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), the Bengal CM said the governor’s north-Bengal tour should be brought under the scanner. "Who accompanied him during the visit, how much is the expenditure for the visit and whom he met there -- all should be probed. He met BJP's MPs, MLAs, and block presidents. His visit was aimed to separate north Bengal from the rest of the state," Mamata hit out.
Shortly after Mamata’s allegation, Dhankhar held a press conference at Raj Bhavan. "There was no audit in the GTA since 2017. The autonomous body GTA has been reduced to a government department and people say it has become a den of corruption and nepotism. The CAG should conduct GTA’s audit. I shall not bow down. I am not wearing kid’s gloves. I will do all I can in my command," he retaliated.