West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar hit out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday over the attack on the convoy of BJP national president JP Nadda. The BJP blamed Thursday’s attack on supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress.
Accompanied by several top party leaders, the BJP president was on his way to Diamond Harbour in the South 24 Parganas district when his convoy came under attack.
The Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat is currently represented by Abhishek Banerjee, the chief minister’s nephew.
Speaking to reporters outside Raj Bhavan on Friday, Dhankhar said, “Governance-wise, it was a painful day for West Bengal. I was shocked and ashamed by the lack of preparedness (by the Bengal government). Mamata can’t depart from her constitutional responsibilities. I would advise her not to indulge in divisive politics. Despite alerting the administration, it couldn’t prevent the attack on Nadda. I have sought a security report from the DGP (Director General of Police).”
<p “width=420″ lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>WATCH | Stones hurled at vehicle of BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya in West Bengal pic.twitter.com/TORSzQwjUz— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) December 10, 2020
He urged the chief minister to apologise for the incident, adding that he had summoned the chief secretary and the DGP.
Fuming at the CM, the governor said, “The events that unfolded on December 11 were most unfortunate. They have brought shame to our democracy. As governor, it is my duty to uphold the Constitution.”
He advised the CM “not to play with fire” and act as per the Constitution.
“Madam Chief Minister, don’t play with fire,” the governor said, adding, “Even Mamata Banerjee is bound by the Constitution. She has to act as per the Constitution, not depart from it. I have taken a very serious note of her statement. How can a responsible chief minister, who claims to stand up for Bengal’s culture, speak the way she did? I would advise the chief minister to respect the dignity of her office and take those words back,” the governor said.
He was referring to a video clip where the CM is heard making an offensive remark on Nadda and labelling the entire incident as ‘drama’.
He further accused the Bengal administration of not paying heed to his warning of possible law and order problems during Nadda’s visit.
Following Dhankar’s comments, TMC hit out at the union home ministry for summoning the state chief secretary and director general of police, accusing the BJP of trying to create a situation where the central government can interfere in matters related to the states.
Senior TMC MPs Saugata Roy and Kalyan Banerjee alleged that Nadda’s convoy had “convicted criminals” and goons who carried weapons with the malafide intention to instigate violence.
“What is the central government is doing by sending a letter (seeking report) from the state government is unconstitutional. The MHA summoning the chief secretary and DGP is unacceptable. The BJP and the central government is trying to create a situation where they can interfere with the federal structure,” Bandopadhyay said at a press conference.
The BJP president arrived on a two-day visit on Wednesday and attended a raft of events aimed at boosting the BJP’s organisational muscle in the state ahead of the Assembly elections next year.
His convoy was pelted with stones by alleged Trinamool men on way to a rally in the South 24 Parganas.
Earlier, in a series of tweets, the governor said he had alerted the chief secretary and the DGP of law-and-order problems during Nadda’s visit but their “non responsive stance signals failure of constitutional machinery” in the state.
(With inputs from PTI)
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