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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

Black flags, tweets widen rift between Bengal govt and Governor Dhankhar

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has been at loggerheads with the Bengal government and teh rift between them continues to widen.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2019 00:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
HindustanTimes, Kolkata
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar Domkal in Murshidabad district where he had gone for the inauguration of a new building of the local girl’s college.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar Domkal in Murshidabad district where he had gone for the inauguration of a new building of the local girl’s college.(

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who was shown black flags and asked to “go back” by alleged Trinamool Congress activists during his visit to Domkal in Murshidabad district on Wednesday, hit back at the Mamata Banerjee government with a barrage of tweets.

Following the demonstration in Domkal, Dhankhar took to Twitter for a swipe at the state administration and accused the police of supporting the demonstrators. He tagged Banerjee’s official account

Dhankhar’s acrimonious ties with the state government have escalated in the past week over a range of issues, including the government’s refusal to his request for helicopter for travelling to distant districts.

On Wednesday, TMC activists staged a demonstration near the Domkal block development office when Dhankhar arrived there for the inauguration of a new building of the local girl’s college.

He was invited to the ceremony by the local Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA Anisur Rahman. The protesters waved black flags in the presence of police and shouted ‘go back’ when the motorcade was passing. Dhankhar, however, kept waving at people who had gathered on both sides of the road.

A few hours later, he tweeted, “@MamataOfficial At Domkal police was supportive of the handful of protesters while being totally absent at the place where I inaugurated the Domkal Girls College. Orchestrated!”

The TMC did not let that tweet pass quietly.

Bengal’s junior health minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said, “The police were there not to assist the protesters but to ensure that the protesters could not go near the governor. The police were there to ensure the governor’s security. He, unfortunately, has got into a habit of criticising the government on baseless issues. He has failed to maintain the sanctity of his chair.”

Dhankhar told a local news channel he was not perturbed by the protest. “I had a long political career. I have seen a lot of these things. They cannot influence the way I act by doing any of these things. I do whatever I do after due thinking and I act consciously,” said Dhankhar.

In another tweet, Dhankhar criticised the state government for not acting on time to have Bengali as a medium for Joint Entrance Exam (main) for admissions into IITs.

His comments came in the wake of TMC’s recent agitation against the Centre’s decision to include Gujarati, other than English and Hindi, as a medium for taking the test.

Earlier this month, Mamata Banerjee dubbed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as anti-Bengali even as the National Testing Agency clarified in a statement that the JEE (Main) Examination started in 2013 with the idea of all states admitting their engineering candidates through JEE (Main). The request was sent to all the States in 2013. Only Gujarat agreed to admit their candidates in state engineering colleges of Gujarat through JEE (Main) and requested that the JEE (Main) paper be made available in Gujarati language, the statement said.

“@MamataOfficial First communication of October 10, 2013 and now one on November 07, 2019. The last one after I had publicly pleaded that steps need to be taken by State of W B. There should be concern only for the welfare of Students,” Dhankhar tweeted with photos of the two letters from the state government to the National Testing Agency and hinted that the government did not act on time.

The gulf between Dhankhar and the state government who have been at loggerheads, has widened further with the state Assembly and the governor’s office making plans to celebrate Constitution Day separately on November 26.

On Tuesday evening, state parliamentary affairs minister and TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee announced that the state Assembly would celebrate Constitution Day by hosting a two-day special session from November 26 and the Assembly speaker would decide whether the governor would be invited or not.

In a tweet, Dhankhar said, “Constitution Day Celebration on November 26 is scheduled at Raj Bhawan and invites to this effect were sent days ago. Personal communications to this effect were sent to Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Hon’ble the Chief Justice more than a month ago.”