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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Mamata-Dhankar cold war in Bengal eases with Constitution Day invite

Dhankar’s acceptance of the speaker’s invitation and a Raj Bhawan Friday release hoping that Mamata, too, will attend the function at the Governor’s house suggests de-escalation.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2019 02:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Mamata Banerjee government and Bengal Governor Dhankhar had seen acrimonious exchanges recently.
Mamata Banerjee government and Bengal Governor Dhankhar had seen acrimonious exchanges recently.(Samir Jana/HT Photo)
         

The cold war between the ruling Trinamool Congress party and the Bengal Governor eased off a bit on Saturday with the assembly speaker Biman Banerjee inviting Jagdeep Dhankhar to speak at the special assembly session called to commemorate the Constitution Day on November 26 and the latter accepting it.

TMC minister Partha Chatterjee’s November 19 announcement of the two-day special session to mark the Constitution Day had triggered speculations that leaving the Governor out of the session was also a possibility. A face off seemed likely when Dhankar responded by saying that Rajbhawan had announced celebrations much before the TMC and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with the Chief Justice of the Kolkata High Court had been invited more than a month ago.

Dhankar’s acceptance of the speaker’s invitation and a Raj Bhawan Friday release hoping that Mamata, too, will attend the function at the Governor’s house suggests de-escalation.

The Raj Bhawan statement said the Bengal CM had in her response to the invite, hoped that the Constitution Day programme at the Raj Bhawan “focused on principles of constitutionalism-- primarily on the issue of upholding the federal structure of the nation.”

The choice of words is significant in view of their running acrimony over some issue or other. It peaked last week when Mamata suggested Dhankar was an agent of the Bharatiya Janata Party and was trying to run a parallel government.

On Wednesday, Dhankhar was shown black flags and asked to “go back” by TMC workers during his visit to Domkal in Murshidabad district. He hit back with a barrage of tweets and accused the police of supporting the demonstrators. He even tagged Banerjee’s official account.

No Trinamool Congress leader was ready to comment on Friday’s development. BJP state general secretary Sayantan Basu said the invitation was “better late than never” and hoped the governor attends the special session.”

This is the first time Dhankhar will address an assembly session. He was sworn in on July 30.