COVID-19 battle: Governor broadens attack, accuses CM Mamata Banerjee of explicit minority appeasement

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Published: April 24, 2020 2:02 PM

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have been at loggerheads over the state’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. File pic

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of explicit appeasement of the minority community. In a letter addressed to the Chief Minister, Dhankhar said that it was her strategy to divert people’s attention from her failures in combatting the coronavirus situation in the state and went on to highlight the state government’s “monumental blunders” in tackling the crisis.

“Your appeasement of the minority community was so explicit and awkward in the Nizamuddin Markaz incident. This is most unfortunate and cannot be appreciated,” he said, referring to an event where Banerjee was asked to comment on the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the national capital, but she responded by saying “don’t ask such communal questions”.

The Governor’s response came a day after Banerjee, in a strongly-worded seven-page letter to the Governor, said that “she is an elected representative and not appointed” and accused him of repeatedly interfering in the functioning of the administration. She also asked him to judge who crossed the limit of “constitutional dharma” and the norms of decency between the two constitutional functionaries.

Referring to the CM’s letter Thursday, Dhankhar said that her conduct is only compounding the miseries of the people of the state.

“Your communication is part of the alibi strategy that emanates from a script that seeks to cover up monumental failures in these challenging times by a series of blunders,” he said.

“Hope good sense prevails now and all move in togetherness to deal with the challenges the state is facing so that people in deep distress get some solace,” he tweeted separately.

The Governor also asked Banerjee to shun politics and her confrontational approach and fight the war against coronavirus in collaboration with the Centre. This was Dhankhar’s second letter to Mamata Banerjee since last evening.

The Governor and the CM have been at loggerheads over the state’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. Earlier, Dhankar had even said that the Mamata Banerjee government be shown the door for failing to enforce the lockdown and not adhering to the Home Ministry’s guidelines.

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