The already strained relationship between West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and WB chief minister Mamata Banerjee suffered yet another jolt as yesterday Dhankhar was made to wait in front of locked Gate no 3 of the state Assembly, designated for the governor.
Claiming it to be the CM’s conspiracy to ‘insult’ him, Dhankhar said the “humiliation” meted out to the governor’s post has put the country’s democratic history to “shame”. In his infuriation, he even asked the journalists to go and hold Mamata Banerjee accountable over this.
“Assembly Secretariat is opened throughout the year, assembly not being in session does not mean that the secretariat is closed”, said the irked Governor.
WB Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar: When I came here the gate meant for Governor & other VVIPS was closed but I went inside through a gate that was opened. Assembly Secretariat is opened throughout the year, assembly not being in session does not mean that the secretariat is closed. https://t.co/c4nUq1Pj2J pic.twitter.com/0jNeb32M7j
— ANI (@ANI) December 5, 2019
After standing for some time before the locked gates that are customarily opened when the state governor visits the assembly, Dhankhar entered the assembly premises through Gate no 4, meant for media persons and officials.
“Why is gate no 3 closed? Despite my prior intimation, the gate is closed. The Assembly being adjourned does not mean it is closed,” he said.
While talking to the media outside the Assembly, the governor also accused the assembly speaker of insulting him by cancelling a scheduled meeting “at the last moment”.
“The assembly speaker had invited me for lunch today. But it was cancelled at the last moment. This is an insult and points to a conspiracy,” Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar told reporters outside the assembly. “Why is the gate no 3 closed? Despite my prior intimation, the gate is closed. The Assembly being adjourned does not mean it is closed.
Dhankhar had on Wednesday written to Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee expressing his desire to look into its facilities and also visit the library.
“After I had informed about my visit, the special secretary of Raj Bhavan, received a message inviting me and my wife for a lunch by the speaker. I accepted it.
“But within one-and-half hours of receiving the message, my special secretary received another message from the Assembly secretary, stating that the invite stands cancelled. He was also told that the secretary and special secretary of the Assembly will not be present during my visit,” the governor said after coming out of the Assembly.
Slamming Mamata Banerjee for being discourteous to the constitutional posts, the governor said he will not be “cowed down” by such “antics” of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).
West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the state CM Mamata Banerjee has not been sharing a very cordial relationship. Umpteen number of times on different occasions the duo have been in loggerheads with each other.
Recently, the Governor took to Twitter to criticise Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and posted a series of tweets, including one reportedly referring to him as “Tu cheez badi hai mast mast”.
On the occasion of the Constitution Day programme in the state Assembly, when the WB Governor and the CM had got involved is a verbal spat all over again, a phenomenon which has become quite a routine in the West Bengal these days, the Governor shared a tweet claiming that the post of the constitutional head of the state has been “seriously compromised”.
In an embedded video, the CM was seen thanking speakers and guests who took part in the event to mark 70 years of the adoption of the Constitution. While naming all the other dignitaries, she mentioned Dhankhar at the end.
He also shared another clip of Banerjee paying floral tribute to a statue of Dr BR Ambedkar along with former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, and ex-governors of West Bengal Shyamal Sen, MK Narayanan and others, claiming that she was missing at the time when he paid flower tributes at the statue of Dr Ambedkar.
Dhankhar’s tweets came after the duo chose to take a dig at each other during a special session of the Assembly. Though the duo were not spotted directly communicating or exchange greetings with each other on that day, the Chief Minister had made veiled attacks at the Governor after he left the venue.
The differences between the West Bengal CM and the governor have been very public. Expressing anguish over the seating arrangement for him at the Durga Puja carnival hosted by Mamata Banerjee, Dhankhar had said that he felt “humiliated, deeply pained and disturbed” by the treatment meted out to him.
Later, Mamata Banerjee’s refusal to provide the Governor with a helicopter to travel to Farakka in Murshidabad district and Santiniketan in Birbhum district had also been cited as the cause of a seemingly bitter relationship between the CM and the governor.