Ahead of Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s visit to Cooch Behar, chief minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to him claiming that his visit violates the long-standing norms and protocols.
“I find from social media that you are unilaterally proceeding to Cooch Behar district 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 you will kindly follow the wellestablished norms of protocol, as stated above, and desist from abrupt decisions with regards to field visits,” Miss Banerjee wrote.
She referred to the ‘Manual of Protocol and Ceremonials’ of the home department of the state government, which says that visits of governors are finalised by the secretary of the governor after obtaining the orders of the government.
Alleging that Dhankhar has been directly communicating with government officers and dictating them though she had requested him against it, Miss Banerjee said that the governor is “steadily ignoring” this advice. Dhankhar today said he will visit areas affected by post-poll violence in Cooch Behar district on Thursday.
“Governor … will be leaving Kolkata by BSF Helicopter on May 13 to visit post poll unprecedented violence affected areas @MamataOfficial #Sitalkuchi and other places in Coochbehar to connect with sufferers,” he tweeted. Dhankhar had on Monday said he would go to the violence-affected areas of West Bengal to take stock of the situation. At least 16 people have been killed in post-election violence in West Bengal, Miss Banerjee said on 6 May.
TMC MP Kalyan Bandyopadhyay told reporters here that he did not know if a governor can conduct himself in such a way. “Being a lawyer I cannot recall any other instance of a governor behaving in such a manner. It is unbecoming of one who holds the gubernatorial post. I think it is aimed at influencing the judiciary as a case is being heard in Calcutta High Court,” he said.
State minister Rabindranath Ghosh, who hails from the north Bengal district, said “Dhankhar is coming to disrupt the peaceful situation in Coochbehar.” Countering TMC charges, BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya wondered why would TMC object if the governor visits a place rocked by political violence and he wants to be on the side of the affected people.
“They (TMC) have got the mandate of people. Then why are they upset if the governor of the state wants to met the people? Are the injured and affected in political violence not residents of Bengal?” he asked.
Dhankhar to visit Assam camps tomorrow: Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday said that he will visit camps in Assam where some people from West Bengal have reportedly taken refuge due to post poll violence.
Dhankhar will travel to Assam on Friday after his visit to post poll violence affected areas in Cooch Behar on Thursday, he said in a tweet. On Friday Dhankhar will visit “Ranpagli & Srirampur camps in Assam where due to post poll retributive violence @MamataOfficial some people of WB had taken refuge for safety.”