West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has been at loggerheads with the TMC government in West Bengal since his appointment in July 2019.(HT PHOTO)
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has been at loggerheads with the TMC government in West Bengal since his appointment in July 2019.(HT PHOTO)

Governor needs sleeping pills, Bengal minister retorts after former talks of violent polls

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said there is a general perception that elections in Bengal are marked by bloodshed.
Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2021 12:18 AM IST

West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar drew flak from the Trinamool Congress on New Year’s Day for expressing fear that the assembly elections due in a few months could be marked by violence.

Referring to the violence witnessed during elections in the past, Dhankhar, while visiting Purulia district on Friday, said, “There is a general perception that elections in Bengal are marked by bloodshed. People are afraid that violence may mar the coming polls. I will do everything in my power to ensure that the elections are peaceful and fair. Democracy must be protected.”

Dhankhar, against whom the TMC has moved President Ramnath Kovind, seeking his removal, visited the Sainik School in Purulia and also attended other programmes.

“The governor feels compelled to make some comment every day. He needs sleeping pills. He forgets the fact that it is the election commission that conducts elections, not the governor. He speaks like a spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party,” said education minister and TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee.

On New Year eve, Dhankhar wished the people of Bengal. He made a similar remark in a statement issued by the Raj Bhawan.

“Pray West Bengal exemplify its enormously rich culture, its essence and intrinsic spinal strength to secure 2021 elections shun of violence with “political neutral” stance of police and administration….,” the statement said.

The TMC has demanded Dhankhar’s recall for “transgressing constitutional limits.”

A team of TMC MPs wrote a letter to the President on Tuesday, listing “all such transgressions” by Dhankhar in recent times and urged him to take action as per Article 156, Clause 1 of the Constitution.

“The governor holds office during the pleasure of the President as per Article 156, Clause 1. We have urged the President to withdraw the pleasure, which translates into removing this governor,” Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said in Kolkata.

Dhankhar shot back, claiming free and fair elections are not held in the state.

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