‘I am sorry to say…’: Mamata Banerjee amps up attack on Guv Jagdeep Dhankhar
Mamata Banerjee’s fresh attack at governor Jagdeep Dhankhar came after he alleged corruption in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), the semi-autonomous body that manages Darjeeling and Kalimpong hills in north Bengal.
KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee escalated her attacks on governor Jagdeep Dhankhar by several notches, alleging that he was named in the Jain hawala scandal of the 1990s that implicated several leading politicians and branded him as a “corrupt man”.
“The Governor’s name had cropped up in the Jain hawala case. They had gone to court and got the name cleared. But again, a PIL was filed, and it is still pending. I am sorry to say he is a corrupt man,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.
“If the Centre is not aware, then I am telling. Bring out the charge sheet and check whether his name was there or not. Why is the Centre allowing a man like this to continue as the governor?” she added.
Dhankhar, who has an acrimonious relationship with the chief minister, trashed the charge. “I have not been charge-sheeted. There is no such document. This is far from facts. This is plain and simple untruth, misinformation. I have not taken any stay from any court,” said Dhankhar.
The Jain hawala case cited by Banerjee was a reference to a political scandal in the mid-nineties after investigators, who were probing 23 demand drafts seized at the instance of a Hizbul Mujahideen operative in Delhi, found a diary from the hawala operators. The handwritten diary mentioned payments of about ₹65 crore. The names of the recipients were written in codes and matched initials of some top political leaders.
The Central Bureau of Investigation filed more than 2 dozen chargesheets in this case but the cases collapsed because the CBI didn’t produce any corroborative evidence to prove the bribery charge.
Earlier in the day, Dhankhar, who was on a week-long tour of Darjeeling, alleged corruption in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), the semi-autonomous body that manages Darjeeling and Kalimpong hills in north Bengal.
Mamata Banerjee said the governor was trying to disturb the peaceful situation in north Bengal and met people who are in favour of dividing north Bengal. “He told them to stage a revolt. Is it the job of the governor?” Banerjee added.
Banerjee said that she had written three letters to the centre on three occasions to relieve Dhankhar from the post of the state’s governor.
On Saturday the Governor tweeted that there has been no election and audit in GTA since 2017.
“The Governor has raised some serious allegations against the GTA. Cases may continue in the court. But are the chief minister’s today’s allegations answers to the questions raised by the Governor? Is she trying to say that because the Governor’s name is in the Jain Hawala case, there can be corruption in GTA? Is she justifying this,” said Jay Prakash Majumdar, vice president of BJP in West Bengal.