After a vitriolic attack on the state healthcare system yesterday, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said he was “upset” at not being invited at the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) that was inaugurated at a star-studded ceremony in Netaji Indoor Stadium during the day.

Talking to the Press, Mr Dhankhar said “There is no urge in me to attend the event but it is the attitude of the state government that disheartens me.” The governor also referred to the time of the Durga Puja Carnival where he allegedly was allotted a corner seat which prevented him of having a clear view of the big ticket pujas which were exhibited during the Carnival. He claimed that he felt insulted at the Carnival and that he was “completely blacked out at the programme.”

The ruling Trinamul Congress had then retorted by accusing Dhankar of being “publicity hungry” and acting in a manner that does not “befit a governor”. The governor has quite apparently been at loggerheads with the Mamata Banerjee government on various issues since his taking over the post. Yesterday, he took a dig at the state government claiming that the Trinamul government is not allowing the Centre’s Ayushman scheme to be implemented in West Bengal.

Meanwhile, speaking at the inaugural programme, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the state will not bow before anyone and stressed on Bengal’s merit and cultural excellence.

Emphasising on unity, Miss Banerjee said the essence of Bengal is that it takes everyone together. “We believe in love and we love to take everybody together. We neither believe in violence nor in restrictions. We don’t have any negative attitude towards completion. We don’t feel jealous of others. We don’t bow our head before others,” she said adding: “As long as we live we will fight and never bow our heads before anyone”. “Bengal has come up with the highest number of Nobel laureates, scientists and award winning film makers. Our state is the cultural capital of the country,” she said without naming BJP.

Her statement comes as an answer to Union home minister Amit Shah’s statement that Bengal is lagging behind in scientific and cultural development. According to Miss Banerjee, it was the state government’s sincerity and earnestness that has made KIFF the “best and the most different”. “Compared to previous years, the festival is being organised in a different manner this time. The decorations itself are very different. Nowhere is the event so beautiful,” she said while addressing the inaugural programme.

“It is our sincerity and earnestness that have made the occasion so beautiful. No money can replace these qualities. Again, it is for these qualities that Shah Rukh Khan and Mahesh Bhatt have been attending this event every year,” she added.

Inviting Bengal brand ambassador Shah Rukh along with Bhatt and Rakhi Gulzar to attend the festival next year as well, Miss Banerjee requested them to visit the next Durga Puja Carnival as it has gained a huge popularity.

She lauded film maker Bhatt saying he is very outspoken and has dares to speak his mind when others are scared to speak out.

She praised Rakhi saying she is more beautiful now than she was in “Amanush”, whcih starred Sharmila Tagore and Uttam Kumar. Earlier, Bhatt said no one should impose a language on others and must allow everyone to speak their mother tongue.