Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his cooperation in tackling the COVID-19 crisis in West Bengal but alleged that “a few people holding constitutional posts’ are disturbing the state government regularly.
Ms Banerjee was apparently targeting West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who has been at loggerheads with the state government over a host of issues ever since taking office in July last year.
Both the state and the central governments are elected bodies and they should work together, she said during an online programme where the prime minister inaugurated new COVID-19 testing facilities in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
“I would like to thank the prime minister for holding several discussions (with chief ministers) on the COVID crisis. And so far, there has been no non-cooperation from his end. I want to thank him for that. But a few people, who are holding constitutional posts, are regularly disturbing the state government. This is not acceptable,” Ms Banerjee said without naming anyone.
Reacting to Ms Banerjee’s comment on Monday, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the governor did the right thing by pointing out the mistakes of the state government.
“The way the governor has been insulted by ministers of the TMC government is unprecedented,” he said.
The face-off between the West Bengal government and the Raj Bhavan had escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Ms Banerjee accusing Dhankhar of repeatedly interfering in the functioning of the state administration, and the latter asserting that a state cannot be governed as someone’s “personal fiefdom”.
Expressing concern over the alleged deterioration of law and order in West Bengal, Dhankhar had last week said the state police were not functioning according to rules and urged the chief minister to find time and interact with him on the matter.
On July 16, after the governor said that the education system in West Bengal is “politically caged”, Ms Banerjee alleged that the governor was acting “more dangerously” than a BJP mouthpiece and that doesn’t suit someone holding a constitutional post.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)