January 31, 2022 2:49:56 am
In another showdown with the Mamata Banerjee-led state government, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday said people view West Bengal as a “gas chamber of democracy” and alleged “trampling of human rights”.
After paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary at Gandhi Ghat in Barrackpore, Dhankhar said: “I cannot see the land of Bengal getting drenched in blood and becoming a laboratory for trampling of human rights. People are saying that the state is turning into a gas chamber of democracy.”
The Governor further said the situation in Bengal became such that the Calcutta High Court had to direct the National Human Rights Commission to form a fact-finding committee to probe into alleged human rights violations in post-poll violence last year.
“No amount of insults will deter me from my path. It was not appropriate for the chief minister of the state (Mamata Banerjee) to make derogatory remarks within and even outside the state. It has to be everyone’s effort to ensure that there is peace in the society in line with the Constitution of the country”.
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Hitting back at him, state education minister Bratya Basu said Dhankhar to avoid acting “like the spokesperson of a party”.
“The Governor has no idea about the history of Bengal or the history of Indian politics. Now if incidents of violence have taken place in the election, it is a collective failure. It is not failure on part of any political party. I would urge him not to act as the spokesperson of a particular political party and perform his constitutional duty in an unbiased way. He should cooperate with the chief minister,” said Basu.
The governor, who has crossed swords with the Mamata Banerjee government over several issues since assuming charge in the state, recently accused the chief minister and the speaker of the assembly of transgressing constitutional norms by not providing him the information he had sought on multiple matters.
He has had run-ins over appointments of vice chancellors of universities, calling bureaucrats to his office for explanations.
On January 25, the governor, after paying floral tributes at the statue of B R Ambedkar on the assembly premises, had described the political condition in Bengal as “horrible and frightening”.
— With PTI inputs
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