‘West Bengal emerging as police state’: Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar writes in hard-hitting letter to Mamata Banerjee

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May 04, 2020 5:00 PM

Both West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have been trying hard to outsmart each other over the handling of the coronavirus situation in the state.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. File pic PTI

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday launched a fresh assault on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her lack of seriousness in handling the coronavirus situation in the state. In a hard-hitting letter addressed to the CM, Dhankar slammed the CM for running a police state and said her misplaced stance on constitutional norms reflects authoritarianism which has no place in a democracy.

“The state (West Bengal) unfortunately is emerging as a ‘police state’ with anyone posting on social media, to the distaste of the ruling dispensation, gets a police knock at his door,” he wrote.

“Expression of political opinions is sought to be controlled by the government. Political victimisation is on an incremental trajectory. This is equally applicable to journalists, who are stressed as never before,” he added.

He said it is time for the Chief Minister’s tryst with reality and asked her to get down to provide relief to the people suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The bitter truth is – People in the state only know only too well ‘Who in the State is a usurper and extra-Constitutional fountain of power’! Who runs government and syndicates! Who is this ABCD! An open secret! Surely I am not the one, I can assure you that I am reasonably updated about affairs of state,” Dhankhar said further.

Taking a dig at Banerjee, Dhankhar said, “The Chief Minister should regret her statement that ‘political parties are vultures in wait for the dead bodies’ and that journalists ‘must behave’ and take everyone along.”

He advised CM Banerjee to think of alleviating the untold hardships people are facing due to the ineffective government. The Governor separately tweeted that his response to Banerjee is just a reminder to her, “recollection of former CM BC Roy will do much more good to West Bengal”.

“In deep crisis-listen to one’s conscience -act on one’s script. Am confident of moving ahead in a spirited manner to address glaring issues facing the state,” he tweeted.

Both the Governor and Chief Minister have been trying hard to outsmart each other over the handling of the coronavirus situation in West Bengal. The state has reported 35 deaths and 963 positive COVID-19 cases. The opposition BJP has accused the Tronamool Congress of hiding the virus-linked deaths in the state, a charge refuted by the ruling government.

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