Kolkata

Officials skip Bengal Governor’s meeting in Siliguri

Jagdeep Dhankhar. File photo: PTI

Jagdeep Dhankhar. File photo: PTI  

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Dhankhar was scheduled to have an interaction with elected representatives and State government functionaries

Upset with senior government functionaries skipping a meeting organised by him, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday said that such “lukewarm stand” was a “cause of worry” as it “does not fit with the culture of the State.”

“I'm an optimist person, but the lukewarm stand of the State is a matter of worry to me because I don’t find it fitting in the culture of West Bengal. This can’t be the kind of reception given to the Governor when he goes to a place like Siliguri for the first time,” the Governor said, stepping up his attack on the State government.

Mr. Dhankar on Tuesday visited Siliguri, where he was scheduled to have interaction with elected representatives and State government functionaries. But Tourism Minister Gautam Deb, Home Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, the Siliguri commissioner of police and representatives from the District Magistrate’s Office remained absent from the meeting.

The Governor, who expressed his anguish during a press conference in Siliguri, said that he will be visiting all the districts of West Bengal and it doesn’t matter to him which political party is having what representation there.

Reminding the State that he had a Constitutional role, Mr. Dhankar said, “I am not in a political circus.” He added that what he felt was a virtual absence of the State administration. “I do believe the District Magistrate must have gone on leave for a very proper reason. This cannot happen with all of us. On the police side also, the man in charge was nowhere to be seen” he said.

The people who met the Governor during the day were Darjeeling MP Raju Bista, Siliguri MLA and Mayor Asok Bhattacharya and Congress MLA Sankar Malakar. Last week, the Governor's intervention at the Jadavpur University, where he rescued Union minister Babul Supriyo from angry students, had raised many eyebrows within the Trinamool Congress leadership.

Trinamool Congress reacts

West Bengal Tourism Minister Gautam Deb said that the invitation he received was from the Indian Chamber of Commerce and not from the office of the Governor. “There was no invitation for the meeting. There was an invitation from ICC for inauguration of their north Bengal chapter. I was preoccupied and I had informed them. As far as the Governor’s meeting with public representatives is concerned, I had not received any invite,” Mr. Deb said.

Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee was more critical of the Governor. “The Governor should not misuse Constitutional jurisdiction and should avoid from indulging in political gimmicks everyday... Our government is a people’s government and is aware what to do and what not to do,” Mr. Chatterjee said in a statement.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 9:25:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/officials-skip-bengal-governors-meeting-in-siliguri/article29502363.ece

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