West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that she wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on three occasions to relieve West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar from the post of the state’s governor.
“A child can be cajoled into silence but not an elderly man. In this case, speech is silver; silence is golden,” Mamata Banerjee was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Banerjee said that the state government was not consulted during the appointment of Dhankhar in 2019. She further said that she cannot comment on reports of him being removed. “How do I know? When a governor is appointed, the state government is consulted. That was not done in this case. I have written twice or thrice to the Prime Minister seeking his withdrawal from the state,” Mamata said.
The chief minister has shared a strained relationship with Bengal governor Dhankhar since his appointment and her party has often accused the governor of acting as a mouthpiece of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on multiple occasions. Dhankhar has continually alleged that the TMC was involved in retributive post-poll violence in Bengal and claimed that several BJP workers have lost their lives due to the violence. Mamata on Thursday called the governor ‘Centre’s man’.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the chief minister has no respect for the Constitution in response to her comments. “The governor is doing the right thing, and that is why the TMC dispensation does not like it. The Centre appoints him, and it is obvious that he has to report various developments to the Union government,” Dilip Ghosh said.
Jagdeep Dhankhar met Union ministers Prahlad Joshi and Prahlad Singh Patel on Wednesday. He also met with President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan and is scheduled to meet home minister Amit Shah as well.
Several TMC leaders, including MP Mahua Moitra, asked the governor not to return to the state. “Uncle Ji is going to Delhi on June 15, he says. Do us a favour WB Governor Sahib – don’t come back,” the Lok Sabha MP said via a tweet.
Sougata Ray said that the governor has violated every constitutional norm. “According to our Constitution, the governor is supposed to act as per the instructions of the council of ministers headed by the chief minister. But he doesn’t follow any such norm and acts as per his whims and fancies,” Ray said on Wednesday.