‘Worrisome law and order situation’: Bengal Guv reports to Amit Shah
The governor has been raising these issues on the social media platforms and in his interactions with state ministers and bureaucrats for a long time but this is the first time he met Shah to officially report his assessment.Updated: Jul 20, 2020 21:14 IST
West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday told Union home minister Amit Shah about the “worrisome” law and order situation in the eastern state, adding it was on the “edge of a cliff” and cited the healthcare management, nepotism in cyclone relief distribution and the general governance as examples to drive home his point.
The governor has been raising these issues on the social media platforms and in his interactions with state ministers and bureaucrats for a long time but this is the first time he met Shah to officially report his assessment.
“Worrisome and dangerously deteriorating law and order situation, targeting political opponents and the highly partisan role of police was also discussed. The role of police leaves much to be desired and focused that it was high time exemplary action was taken against senior police officials who act in disregard of the conduct rules,” the governor’s house said in the statement.
“Rampant corruption and nepotism in Amphan relief distribution also figured in the discussion. Governor Dhankhar indicated that the relief, rather than benefiting the needy and entitled persons, was unashamedly siphoned off by the members of the ruling party… State has taken no steps in law to deal with this monumental corruption. Cover up of this has been a mere eyewash in the media,” the Raj Bhawan said. It added that nepotism led to widespread unrest and violence.
“Governor Dhankhar shared his concern with the Union Home Minister at the alarming Covid-19 situation with figures of Covid 19 deaths and positive cases rising to a higher level day by day and abysmal lack of health facilities for the suffering people, both Covid and non covid. People are in a state of deep worry at this grim scenario,” said the statement.
Appointed governor on July 20 last year, the governor’s relationship with the TMC government and chief minister Mamata Banerjee has been marked by acrimony through a chain of events since September 2019.
Significantly, Dhankhar’s meeting with Shah took place a day before the TMC chief was preparing to observe July 21 as martyrs’ day in memory of the youths who died in police firing in 1993 in Kolkata during a law violation programme by the state Youth Congress which she led at that time.
The day is special for the TMC and Banerjee, especially this year, because she is likely to announce her next political programme aimed at the crucial assembly polls in 2021. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which won 18 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, has set an agenda to win 200 of the 294 assembly seats and capture the eastern state.
“This is most unfortunate and I would say the unbecoming of a governor. In my long political career I have not seen a governor like him,” said Tapas Roy, senior TMC leader and minister of state for parliamentary affairs.
Prof Amal Kumar Mukhopadhyay, an expert on the Indian Constitution and former principal of Presidency College, said Dhankhar did his duty and the ruling party should have no reason to criticise him.
“As the governor is appointed by the Centre it is his duty to report whatever is happening in West Bengal. He has to send a monthly report to the Union government, practically to the home minister, for which he does not have to take the advice of the state cabinet. He has not done anything wrong by choosing to talk to the home minster,” Mukhopadhyay told HT.