In what could be seen as an attempt to mend relationship between the state government and Raj Bhavan, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday afternoon held a one-on-one meeting with Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar — a first between the two since he took charge of the constitutional post in July last year.
Sources said both discussed “various issues” at the hour-long meeting and Banerjee thanked Dhankhar for his Budget speech at the Assembly earlier this month. Earlier this month, the government had read out the Budget speech prepared by the state government, averting another showdown with the ruling party TMC.
Keeping Oppn at at bay ahead polls
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s meeting with Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar appears significant ahead of the civic polls in the state. According to political observers, Mamata wants to send a message that she is serious about ushering in development by taking along all the stakeholders. This will also keep the Opposition at bay which has been targeting the government for allegedly showing lack of respect to the Governor. In fact, the groundwork for the meeting was laid much before — after the government agreed to provide him with a helicopter and he sticking to the script of the Governor’s address.
After the meeting, the Governor tweeted, “Had an extremely satisfying an hour long interaction with Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee at Raj Bhavan.” Dhankhar had been seeking a meeting with Banerjee since December last year but it did not come about as the state government had cited her preoccupation with other engagements.
Banerjee was welcomed by Dhankhar’s wife Sudesh in Raj Bhavan.
Dhankhar’s relationship with the state government got strained since he rushed to the “rescue” of Union Minister Babul Supriyo in September last year. Supriyo was was heckled and manhandled at Jadavpur University where he had gone to address a function of the ABVP, the student wing of RSS.
Later, he was not invited to convocations of several state universities despite being their chancellor.
The TMC government also clipped Governor’s powers as the Chancellor of Universities by amending the existing rules and ensured that all communication between the vice-chancellors and him were routed through the education department.
The governor too slammed the administration over deterioration in law and order.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines