File photo: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.(Samir Jana/HT Photo)
File photo: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.(Samir Jana/HT Photo)

In 9-page letter, Mamata Banerjee warns Governor Dhankhar of legal consequences

The acrimonious relationship between Raj Bhawan and the government has been making headlines since last September with the TMC accusing Dhankhar of overstepping his limits and interfering in day-to-day affairs of the government.
Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sparshita Saxena
UPDATED ON SEP 27, 2020 12:09 AM IST

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, in a nine-page letter, has warned Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar of legal consequences and has accused him of trying to destabilise an elected government.

“You have passed judgments on the current state of affairs of our state in the following words ‘safe haven to terror, crime, flourishing illegal bomb-making, corruption’ etc. Such unsubstantiated statements without evidence or mere imputations are absolutely false and baseless and may cause unnecessary panic among common people and cause loss of life, for which law will hold you responsible,” the letter stated.

On September 19, after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested six alleged Al Qaeda operatives from Murshidabad district, Governor Dhankhar, in a series of tweets, had alleged that the state has become a “home of illegal bomb-making”.

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“Thus with due respect to your August post, in the interest of the people of West Bengal and the Constitution, I request, air and advise you in the capacity of the chief minister of this state, to act within the mandates of the Constitution and refrain from acting on a political mandate, if any, to destabilize a democratically elected government,” Banerjee wrote in her letter.

Late in the night, Dhankhar tweeted that he would respond on Sunday.

 

The letter stated that the Governor had enquired into criminal investigations which were going on against an accused named A Singh. Even though the letter didn’t clarify who is A Singh, a senior police officer said that it was Arjun Singh, a Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker.

“This is illegitimate and reeks of favoritism. Further, the accused, by successfully obtaining the Governor’s extra-legal intervention and interference, has actually put the Governor in a dangerously precarious position which might have consequences under the law,” the letter stated.

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Dhankhar tweeted: “DGP @WBPolice did not appear as requested-third time in a row- can’t be overlooked. DGP does not want to explain affairs @MamataOfficial CM writes instead, on his behalf. Is this what constitutionalism envisages? Is CM being rightfully counselled? Would respond to CM.”

The acrimonious relationship between Raj Bhawan and the government has been making headlines since last September with the TMC accusing Dhankhar of overstepping his limits and interfering in day-to-day affairs of the government.

Expressing her “pain and anguish” the chief minister also wrote in her letter that the governor is like the “British Crown” and has no right to interfere with the day-to-day administration of the state government.

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