Friday, November 15, 2019

Now, Bengal Guv crosses swords with state ministers

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Kolkata | Saturday, 2019 4:15:05 AM IST
Firing fresh salvos at the Mamata Banerjee government, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday took on ministers making "factually wrong" and "painful" statements about his public utterances and actions and asked the Chief Minister to examine their statements and "deal" with them the way she wants.

Dhankhar, who has been on a constant collision course with the state government ever since he took the oath on July 30, asserted that he would live up to his oath, meet people and come up with suggestions.

Interacting with the media, a peeved Dhankhar wanted to know if somebody could apinpoint whether he has acted in a manner beyond the "Laxman rekha".

Dhankhar began his media interaction by countering senior minister Subrata Mukherjee who had criticised him on the issue of the Centre extending him 'Z' category security cover and deploying the CRPF for his protection.

"Why he overtook the administration and went straight to the people in Delhi only he can say," Mukherjee had said on Thursday, taking a dig at Dhankhar.

On Friday, Dhankhar returned the fire, saying Mukherjee was "factually wrong" and urged him to check with his government whether he (Dhankhar) had the flagged the issue to the Bengal administration.

"A senior minister Subrata Mukherjee has given a statement that any such issue should have been given to the state first. I would request him with folded hands please check with your government, whether any issue was flagged," he said.

"It is not appropriate for a minister to just say anything to the media which is factually wrong. Governor of a state is constantly in touch with the government. It is not expected of a governor to reveal to the public how he deals with the government.

"But if a minister of the government makes a wrong statement, and many have been made, I would urge that the issue be looked into," he said.

The governor said when a statement is made that the issue should have been first put to the state government, it would mean that the issue has not been raised.

"The minister is not properly informed. This governor is not pro-active. He is active. I have taken oath under the Constitution. I would live up to that," he said.

Dhankhar said whichever issues he has raised, he has done so "after carefully deliberating on them".

Turning to the October 11 Kolkata Durga carnival hosted by the state government, Dhankhar repeated the charge that he was "blacked out" for over four hours when he graced the programme on Indira Gandhi Sarani (erstwhile Red Road).

Responding to the criticism from Trinamool ranks that he was media hungry, Dhankhar said: "For four hours there was a blackout (of him during the carnival), there was controlled media and inspired projections, and if someone calls me publicity hungry, that person has to look within. To get publicity is not my job."

Dhankhar said he flagged an issue of freedom of expression and freedom of the media, and wondered how "a programme of this dimension should be controlled while projecting it to the outside world".

Dhankhar said he had raised the issue during the programme itself "most decorously" and even while leaving the venue.

On criticism from a state minister who asked why he had kept mum for fourA days after the programme, the governor said: "I am really surprised. Constitutional functionaries can't be loose canons".

"I leave it to the discretion of the honourable chief minister to deal with her ministers the way she wants. It is for the honourable chief minister to examine their statements," he said.

--IANS ssp/prs

( 612 Words)

2019-10-18-22:26:06 (IANS)

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