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Govt-Governor ties hit a new low

Dhankhar demands to know BGBS spending details

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

The relations between the state secretariat Nabanna and Raj Bhavan have hit a new low today after the Governor sent a letter to the state finance department seeking to know about the spending details of Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS), a mega annual event organised by the Mamata Banerjee government, to woo industrialists in Bengal.

In a twitter message this evening the Governor Mr Jagdeep Dhankhar said, “I have asked details about the BGBS in the state. I think, the amount spent for this summit is much more than the investments taken place in Bengal.”

Today, Raj Bhavan has written to Mr H K Dwivedi, additional chief secretary (ACS) of the finance department at Nabanna, seeking to know the details related to money spent for the BGBS during the past four years since 2016. “The assertion is that even amount spent in the BGBS is more than the investment spent generated on ground,” according to the letter.

The Raj Bhavan said, “We hope Nabanna will clarify, giving the details of amount spent for the annual show on industrial summit in Kolkata, Haldia and Digha since 2016 as soon as possible.”

The Raj Bhavan also wanted to know about the name of the event manager of such a ‘mammoth’ BGBS, raising questions on how many actual investments have taken place in the state during this period. It also wanted to know the details of the conduit of such transactions of the business events.

Mr Dhankhar wants to have thorough investigations on the BGBS and its fallouts in the state industrial scenario, sources at Raj Bhavan said, requesting anonymity. Mr Dwivedi was not available for comment.

A section of senior officers in the finance department felt that the letter might be ‘disturbing’ to the state government ahead of assembly elections scheduled in 2021 in Bengal.

Hardly one week ago, citing decline in law and order situations in the state Mr Dhankhar had summoned the chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee to Raj Bhavan to brief him. He had taken to social media saying that the opposition leaders were hunted out of public space ‘by partisan police acting as political workers’. “Given enormity of decline in law and order @MamataOfficial has urged CM to urgently brief me. This as ..political leaders and opposition MPs and MLAs being virtually hunted out of public space by partisan police acting as political workers. This cannot be allowed in democracy,” Mr. Dhankhar said on Twitter.

In a video message, the Governor described the happenings in the state as a “grim situation”, an “alarming decline” and a “worrisome spectacle”. Without taking the Governor’s name, Miss Mamata Banerjee is said to have complained against him during a video conference with the Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi last week.