The West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar today said he felt “humiliated, deeply pained and disturbed” by the treatment meted out to him at a Durga Puja carnival hosted by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
According to reports, the Governor was offended as he was not seated at the main dias along with other guests at the event to showcase the top 70 puja pandals in the state capital.
Dhankhar complained that he did not get any media coverage. “Was not shown on TV for even a second”, said the miffed Governor. He also complained that though he spent four hours watching the carnival from beginning to end, he was not shown even once on the multi-camera footage that was beamed out from the event by a government-appointed agency.
Hinting that the local media is a puppet in the hands of the WB government said: “We’ll be disregarding what Rabindranath Tagore told us that fear is the first killer of democracy and media is the ultimate saviour of democracy”.
Should there be silence over it? Should there not have been a reaction about it? Dhankar told media urging them to investigate every aspect as to why this happened and why was there no outrage about this humiliation meted out to him.
Though Dhankhar did not name anyone but left little doubt that the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government had shown him great discourtesy. “This bad taste in my mouth by people who perhaps do not have the mindset and large heart that people of West Bengal have”, said the disgruntled Governor.
“I felt insulted at the carnival. I am deeply hurt and disturbed. The insult was not to me but to every people of West Bengal. They will never digest such as insult. I am a servant of the people of West Bengal. Nothing can deter me from performing my constitutional duties,” Dhankhar told reporters today.
In a tremoring voice, the Governor said: “For four hours or more I was there and your press coverage was totally blacked out…This is unheard of. You will never find it anywhere else. Someone told me it was reminiscent of the Emergency.”
“Not for a second was the first servant shown on TV. What happened has put me to shame because no person in Bengal will approve of it.” He said it took him three days to recover from this “injury ” to his heart.
Calling it a painful moment of his life Dhankhar said: “I will be there despite the insult because I have to recognize the talent of the people of West Bengal. I have to suffer for them, I will suffer. If I have to suffer more insults, more affronts…This bad taste in my mouth has been created by people who perhaps do not have the mindset and the large heart that people of West Bengal have…I appreciate this discourteous approach by the government for the first servant. I’m sure they’ll do soul searching and make amends.”
It has been reported that the Governor was made to sit at a separate podium, which was adjacent to the main seating area where TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and other celebrities were sitting.
“His seating arrangement was not proper considering his position. He was facing a lot of obstructions as people kept coming in front of his podium, causing difficulty for the Governor to have a clear view. During his four hour visit to the carnival, he was completely blacked out. No one showed his presence at the event,” sources at Raj Bhawan, the official residence of the Governor, said.
The humiliation meted out to the Governor is quite foreseeable, as Dhankhar has been involved in a face-off with the Mamata Banerjee-led government in the past as well.
The governor had slammed the West Bengal government after the triple murder in Murshidabad, saying the crime reflected the state’s law and order situation.
Prior to this, Mamata’s government had accused him of being “politically biased” after Dhankhar had rushed in to rescue Union minister Babul Supriyo, who was heckled at Jadavpur University (JU) by students belonging to Left-affiliated organisations.
Mamata Banerjee has in the past too displayed similar arrogance by disrespecting the preceding governor as well.
In the backdrop of the surging incidents of post-poll violence in the state, the former West Bengal Governor, Keshari Nath Tripathi had called an all-party meeting on June 13, Thursday at 4 pm at Governor’s house. Tripathi has sent a letter to all prominent political parties in Bengal including ruling party TMC, BJP, Congress and Left, urging them to attend the meet, but Mamata had rudely declined to go for the all-party meeting and humiliated the Governor by calling him BJP’ mouthpiece.