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West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar ignores Mamata view, visits riot-hit areas

Posted May 14th, 2021, 09:18 AM IST

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar ignores Mamata view, visits riot-hit areas

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday visited areas affected by post-poll violence in Cooch Behar. He went ahead with the visit despite Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressing her disapproval, calling it “unilateral proceedings” by the Governor which is “violative of long-standing norms of procedures”. Senior Trinamool Congress leaders on Thursday sharply criticised the Governor’s move.

During the day, Mr. Dhankhar visited Mathabhanga and Dinhata, where he met family members of those affected by the violence. At one place in Dinhata, a group of locals raised “go back” slogans. Mr. Dhankhar got down from his vehicle and said, “The situation reflected a total collapse of rule of law.” The Governor also chided a police officer and said that he should be aware of where the Governor’s convoy was heading.

“I have seen fear in the eyes of the people. Houses of the people have been looted,” he said. Mr. Dhankhar was accompanied by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Cooch Behar Nisith Pramanik. Later in the evening, he took to social media, saying that he was distressed by the grim situation.

“Visited several affected areas. Distressed at grim scenario. After listening to tales of sorrow no tears left in my eyes. Never imagined severity of post poll retributive violence @Mamata Official was much beyond. One is made to pay with life and rights for voting!” Mr. Dhankhar tweeted. The Governor held a press conference at the Cooch Behar Circuit Office. On Friday, he will visit areas in neighbouring Assam.

‘Script of Modi, Shah’
Former Union minister and senior TMC leader Yashwant Sinha alleged that the West Bengal Governor was “acting according to a script provided to him by Modi/Shah”.

“The West Bengal governor is acting according to a script provided to him by Modi/Shah who have not yet accepted their miserable defeat in the elections and who have no respect for the constitution of India. They will never leave Mamata (Banerjee) in peace,” Mr. Sinha tweeted.

TMC leader and MP Saugata Roy said the party had approached the President of India over recalling the Governor. “We can again approach the President if our party chairperson Mamata Banerjee advises us to do so,” Mr. Roy said. The Trinamool Congress has been repeatedly accusing the Governor of “working to further the interest of the BJP in the State”.

Relations between Mr. Dhankhar and Ms. Banerjee have been far from cordial. The visit to Cooch Behar is the first instance of a flashpoint in relations between Raj Bhavan and the State Secretariat in the third term of the TMC government, which began on May 5 after Ms. Banerjee was sworn in as Chief Minister. Earlier, there had been differences over the Governor summoning officials of the State government and commenting on the law and order situation in the State.