Bengal Governor questions Mamata Banerjee’s ‘red carpet’ to WHO team

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By
Apr 23, 2020 03:13 PM IST

A World Health Organization (WHO) team had visited Bengal earlier this week and the state government had cooperated with it.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar took to Twitter on Thursday to fire another salvo at the Mamata Banerjee government over the ‘red carpet’ treatment for a World Health Organization (WHO) team and asking the government about the outcome of the visit.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has pule dup the state government several times over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.(HT PHOTO)
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has pule dup the state government several times over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.(HT PHOTO)

“Urge @MamataOfficial to ensure seamless way forward for Central Teams. Concerned at Rebuff to Central Teams. Red Carpet visit of WHO to East Midnapur and Bishnupur. What outcome and gain of WHO visit? Declare! Time to take to Constitution. Let concerned handle Mikes/Brooms,” Dhankhar tweeted.


His tweet came amid the visits by an inter-ministerial central team to Bengal that initially triggered a controversy with the state government criticising Centre’s decision to send these teams as ‘unilateral’ and ‘undesirable’.

Also read: WB Guv Dhankhar requests Mamata to avoid confrontation with centre to combat Covid-19 crisis

However, the state administration has started cooperating with the central team after a strongly-worded letter from the Union home ministry that warned the government that obstructing the central team amounted to violation of the Disaster Management Act and orders of the Supreme Court.

A team of WHO representatives had visited the districts of East Midnapore, a Covid-19 hotspot in the ‘red zone’, and Bankura in the ‘orange zone’ on Monday. The state administration had fully cooperated with the WHO team during its one-day visit.

Incidentally, the Bengal unit president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Dilip Ghosh, too, had criticised the Mamata Banerjee government for preferring “foreign advice” over those coming from the Centre.

“She has formed a global committee of advisors that includes foreign nationals. It would be acceptable if the Prime Minister formed a global advisory panel. But why is a state government preferring advice and praise from abroad instead of cooperating with the Centre? This is because the government has a lot to hide that the Centre’s scrutiny would expose,” Ghosh had said on Wednesday.

Governor Dhankhar has been taking pot shots at the Bengal government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ruing Trinamool Congress has mostly refrained from responding to the governor, saying that they would better ‘ignore’ him. The party’s Rajya Sabha leader and national spokesperson Derek O-Brien recently described Dhankhar without naming him as “a twitter-happy nominated person from New Delhi.”

Also read: Amid lockdown, Bengal governor and government lock horns over ‘PDS scam’

Dhankhar’s repeated swipes at the state government had also earned him criticism from Congress’ national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP from Bengal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who recently targeted the governor in series of tweets.

“Governors shd b seen ¬ heard. Latter only in official letters thru proper channels. They reign but do not rule (except during pres rule or govt formation). They shd be true friends, philosophers &guides, nt inimical to those elected to run state. #WB #Govnor #Dhankar,” Singhvi wrote.


“Does nt behove #Governor #WB 2have presser nor say tht he “ warned” CM repeatedly & deprecates her “Centre bashing every morning.” Govnor cnot enter political fight btween #Centre & #WB. Has no power 2warn #CM on such matters. Cnot b more royal than King & v all know who tht is!,” Singhvi wrote in another tweet.

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