Days after GJM leader Bimal Gurung made his first public appearance in three years and vowed his support to the TMC, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday said “a fugitive of law is a fugitive of society”.
In 2017, Gurung was booked under murder charge and other IPC sections, and the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after violence broke out in Darjeeling for a separate ‘Gorkhaland’ state. He surfaced on October 22 and snapped his ties with the BJP for allegedly reneging on its poll promise and decided to back the ruling party in the upcoming Assembly polls.
Addressing a press conference in Siliguri, Dhankhar said, “Those who think of destroying democracy have been destroyed invariably. No matter how big you are, no one is above law…. A fugitive of law is a fugitive of society and must be uniformly treated. If anyone is not equal before the law, it is wrong. If I meet a wanted criminal, I shall be at fault.”
He is on a month-long visit to Darjeeling to assess the ground realities in North Bengal
The Governor said just like the two major issues of the country — Article 370 and construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya — the long-term issues of North Bengal would be solved constitutionally, in a apparent reference to the statehood demand by people of Darjeeling which has witnessed many incidents of violence on the issue.
The BJP has, in its election manifestoes, promised to find a permanent political solution to the statehood demand.
“No matter how complex, complicated and emotive the problems are, they are not bigger than Article 370, more complicated than the Ram temple and more emotive than the triple talaq issue. The solution should be found through a politically prudent and pragmatic approach,” added Dhankhar.
The Trinamool Congress slammed the Governor by saying that he was working as a spokesperson of the BJP. “The only job the Governor is doing is to target the state government almost on a regular basis. We have urged him time and again to refrain from making such comments. He is acting against the Constitution and demeaning his office. He is working like a spokesperson of the BJP,” said TMC MP Sougata Roy.
State minister Gautam Deb said, “The Governor should resign since he is working like a politician.”
‘People suffering due to Centre-State discord’
Kolkata: Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday said people were suffering due to the confrontation between the state and the Central governments, and alleged that health infrastructure had collapsed during pandemic.
“The Centre and the states are two wheels of development and there has to be cooperative federalism and united action to help the people. Covid-19 has showed us one thing: our health infrastructure in the State of West Bengal has collapsed…. and the reason for that is ill-advised, unfortunate confrontational stance of the state government to the well-meaning schemes of the Central government. It could have been good if the state had adopted the Ayushman Bharat scheme…. Unfortunately, people of the state are paying price for lack of far-sightedness and an avoidable confrontation,” Dhankhar told reporters in Siliguri during a news conference. He is on a month-long trip to Darjeeling to assess the ground realities in North Bengal.
Dhankhar and the Mammata Banerjee-led government have been at loggerheads over various issues since he assumed charge as Governor last year.
The Governor said that under the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, the Centre had deposited Rs 12,000 crore into the bank account of every farmer of the country, except West Bengal.
“A total of Rs 92,000 crore has been distributed by the Centre under the programme, but farmers of the state have been deprived of such a benefit. This is a result of wrong policy, inaction and confrontation with the Centre. After 21 months (from the inception of the scheme), she (Mamata Banerjee) has written a letter to the Centre asking it to send the money to the state government for distribution among farmers. Why does the state government want to act as an intermediary. The money is going directly to the farmers. It is not a good culture,” he said.
On crimes against women and political killings, Dhankhar said, “The law-and-order situation in the state has become a matter of concern. Political killings are happening every week. Figures of rape incidents have gone up. People are making bombs in open places. Moreover, the state DGP is not coming (to meet me) despite several calls…” ENS
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