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To refute Mahua Moitra’s nepotism charge, Dhankhar says four OSDs not from his caste

Governor claims Mahua Moitra’s allegations ‘factually wrong’ and part of ‘distraction strategy’.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
June 8, 2021 1:52:31 am
TMC MP Mahua Moitra. (File)

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday refuted Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra’s allegation that his family members and close relatives had been appointed Officers on Special Duty (OSDs) at the Raj Bhavan, saying four of them were not from his caste or state and not part of his “close family”.

Claiming that the allegations levelled by Moitra on Sunday were “factually wrong”, Dhankhar tweeted, “Assertion @MahuaMoitra in tweet & media that six coterminous appointee OSDs in personal staff are relatives is FACTUALLY WRONG. OSDs are from three states and belong to four different castes. None of them is part of close family. Four of them are not from my caste or state. This is unfolding of ‘’distraction strategy’’ to divert attention from alarming law and order scenario @MamataOfficial.”

The governor added that he would “continue undeterred and with zeal to serve the people of the state and vindicate my oath of office under Article 159 of the Constitution”.

After Moitra questioned the governor, the telephone numbers and email ids of the officials she named disappeared from the contact page of the Raj Bhavan’s official website. Pointing this out, the TMC MP on Monday evening tweeted an image of a list of contact details of officers on the Raj Bhavan website, and asked the governor to “come clean” on four names marked on it. Moitra asked Dhankhar “how they were appointed OSDs”.

The four names are OSD Abhyuday Singh Shekhawat, OSD (coordination) Akhil Choudhary, OSD Dinesh Dhankhar, and OSD (protocol) Prashant Dixit. On Sunday, Moitra had also named OSD (administration) Ruchi Dubey, OSD (IT) Koustav S Valikar and newly appointed OSD Kishan Dhankar. Only Dinesh Dhankhar is the latest name flagged by the MP.

On Sunday, Moitra shared the details of the OSDs and claimed that all of them were somehow related to the governor or belonged to his known circle. The MP claimed that Shekhawat is the son of Dhankhar’s brother-in-law, while Dubey and Dixit are the wife and brother of his former aide-de-camp (ADC) Major Gorang Diksit. Valikar is the brother-in-law of present ADC Janardan Rao, while Kishan Dhankar is another close relative of the governor, she added.

Shekhawat was not available for comments over the phone, and did not respond to The Indian Express’ text messages.

Earlier on Monday, the TMC MP countered the governor’s response to her accusations, saying, “Asking uncleji to lay out right here what antecedents of the appointees are & how each one got into Raj Bhavan. Do it NOW. BJP IT Cell can’t get you out of this one Uncleji. And I don’t think Vice President of India also happening for you.”

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