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Resist from dictating state officials, Mamata writes to Dhankhar

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Kolkata, May 12, 2021 –
In a controversial development, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to resist himself from ‘communicating and ‘dictating’ the state officials surpassing the CM and her Council of Ministers.

The Chief Minister also asked the Governor to proceed ‘unilaterally’ to the violence affected places by ‘violating the long-standing norms as evolved over several decades’.

In a strong letter to the Governor, Banerjee said, “Kindly refer to my No.91-CM/2020 dated September 26, 2020 wherein, inter alia, I had requested and specifically advised you ‘to refrain from surpassing the Chief Minister and her Council of Ministers and communicating with and dictating the state officials’, in excess of your power under the Constitution and directing them to attend before you.”

“I find that you are steadily ignoring this advice, solemnly rendered by me to you, and have been communicating with and dictating the state officials. You have also been seeking reports from them directly. I urge you and again request and advise you to refrain from this. I am asking my Chief Secretary to go by this norm,” the Chief Minister added.

Banerjee’s letter came after the Governor summoned Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay and DG Virendra to the Raj Bhawan and sought a report on the post-poll violence in the state.

He even expressed displeasure over the Home Secretary failing to apprise him on the law-and-order situation with regard to the post-poll violence.

Dhankhar tweeted that the Home Secretary did not forward the reports of the state’s DGP and Commissioner of Kolkata Police to him in this regard.

“Chief Secretary @MamataOicial has been called upon to see me today before 7 PM as ACS Home @HomeBengal failed to impart a status report on law and order regarding post-poll violence,” the Governor said in his tweet.

Banerjee also asked the Governor not to take abrupt and unilateral decisions regarding his visit to any violence-hit place.

“The programme for the Governor’s visits to places in the districts is finalised by the Secretary to the Governor after obtaining before recommending a request to the Governor for acceptance, whether it is from a private party or a government institution. The Secretary to the Governor consults the government and the commissioner of the division and the district officer who are in charge of the proper execution of the overall programme,” she wrote.

“I find from social media that you are unilaterally proceeding to the district of Cooch Behar on May 13 and, sadly, I find that to be violative of the long-standing norms as evolved over several decades. I, therefore, would expect that you will kindly follow the well-established norms of protocol, as stated above, and desist from abrupt decisions with regard to field visits,” she added.

However, on the same day, Dhankhar wrote that he would be visiting Assam to meet the Bengali refugees stationed in the camps of Ranpagli and Srirampur.

“Governor WB Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar will be visiting RanpagliAand Srirampur camps in Assam where due to post poll retributive violence @MamataOfficial some people of WB had taken refuge for safety. Governor Dhankhar will be reaching Ranpagli Assam at 9.45 am by BSF Helicopter,” Dhankhar tweeted. (Agency)

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