Stating that there was a khatta-mitha (sweet and sour) relationship between him and the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government in the state in the first six months after he assumed the charge of Governor, Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday said that there has been a “milestone change” in the relationship now.
Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of an event in Siliguri, Dhankhar expressed hope that he would be able to perform his constitutional duties without any further hindrance.
“Over the past six months, we have had a khatta-mitha (sweet and sour) relationship with the (state) government for a variety of reasons. On some occasions, the relationship was not very happy. But I believe in the Indian Constitution. I know it is my duty before anybody else to see that I work with the government. It is my duty to ensure that there is no confrontation and there are coordination and cooperation. I kept on saying to the media also that I was persuasive, I was persevering in that direction. I am happy to tell you that there has been a milestone change. This is a turning point,” he said.
The Governor also said that he was happy that talks with the state government over several issues of concern have begun and several key functionaries of the government met him over the past few days to brief him on the initiatives being taken for the state. “The honourable chief minister (recently) met me for an hour; the chief secretary has also met me several times. I also had constructive discussions with Finance Minister Amit Mitra and Education Minister Partha Chatterjee. I hope this process will continue and I will be able to discharge my constitutional responsibilities,” said the Governor.
Last Monday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had met Dhankhar for an hour at Raj Bhavan — the first one-on-one meeting between the two the latter assumed office in July last year. Though what exactly transpired at the hour-long meeting on Monday was not immediately known, sources said the two discussed “various issues”.
On Thursday, Education Minister Partha Chatterjee met him to discuss the current education scenario in the state.
“Had more than an hour one-to-one productive meeting with Senior Minister for Higher Education Partha Chatterjee. The wholesome way forward in education scenario was discussed. Deliberations covered all pending issues in education including concerning universities (sic),” the Governor had tweeted yesterday.
Reacting to the Governor’s latest remark, Partha Chatterjee said, “It is our tradition to pay respect to the post of the Governor and we made attempts in this regard to work in cooperation with him. We are ready to take his advice and guidance which is acceptable to us on several matters. We cannot take any advice which is not acceptable to us and goes against the norms and rules. There is no confusion here and we have no indifference towards him.”
Dhankhar’s ties with the government have been filled with rancour ever since he rushed to the rescue of Union minister Babul Supriyo, who was heckled and manhandled at Jadavpur University where he had gone to address a function of the RSS-linked ABVP. He had been seeking a meeting with the Chief Minister since December last year, but it did not come about as the government invariably cited the chief minister’s preoccupation with other engagements.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines