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After Brief Ceasefire, Bengal Governor Resumes Hostilities With Mamata Over Phone Tapping

The governor’s statement comes after Mamata Banerjee on Saturday claimed that her phone was also being tapped and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take serious note of it.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:November 3, 2019, 4:49 PM IST
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After Brief Ceasefire, Bengal Governor Resumes Hostilities With Mamata Over Phone Tapping
File photo of Jagdeep Dhankar and Mamata Banerjee. (Image : PTI)

Kolkata: A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that her phone has been tapped as part of surveillance by the Centre, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar hit out saying that only she knows what evidence she has to substantiate her claims. He instead said that businessmen, officials, politicians among others in West Bengal have approached him claiming that their privacy is being compromised here.

The governor’s statement comes after Mamata Banerjee on Saturday claimed that her phone was also being tapped and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take serious note of it. Banrjee’s reaction came a day after WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging platform, said it had earlier informed Indian authorities about a privacy breach that had targeted several journalists and laywers.

Speaking during an event organised by Marwari Mahila Samiti at Mahavir Seva Sadan in Kolkata, the governor took on Banerjee saying, “Mananiya mukhyamantri Mamata Banerjee ji ne jo kaha...kya tathya hai woh janey. Main to ek baat kah sakta hoon...bahut log mere se miley...har sthar ke log miley hai...rajniti ke badey log miley...vyapaar ke badey log miley.. badey adhikari se charcha hui hai...aur log nirantarta se kahte aayen hai ki their privacy is being compromised here. (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee knows what evidence she has and on what basis she made the comment on tapping. All I can say that several people including businessmen, officials, politicians met me and told that their privacy is being compromised here in West Bengal.)”

Reacting to the Governor's statement on Mamata Banerjee privacy breach claims, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee, said, “Governor is acting like a spokesperson of a political party. Let him release the list of people whom he met and they alleged that their privacy is being compromised here in Bengal. You will see most of the people belong to the BJP. Why he always reacts to the statement made by our Chief Minister. Why doesn’t he comment on BJP leadership including Dilip Ghosh. General people in Bengal are intelligent enough to understand why he is making such statement.”

Meanwhile, in an apparent reference to TMC over the issue of Article 370, Dhankhar said, “A prolonged illness was cured after 70 years in Kashmir. It is painful that some people are doing politics over this issue. I would like to tell them that if you want to do politics, then look at yourself also. I am pained when I see violence in the state of West Bengal and the violence executed with political motives.”

The Governor also expressed his dismay over not being invited to th International Film Festival in Kolkata this year. He said, “Your Governor so far has not been invited to a single government function. I am probably the only Governor in India who was not greeted by the state government on Diwali. I am hurt. Can you beat it, so many countries are coming for the International Film Festival and your Governor is nowhere. Put yourself in my position. This is not the way.”

The ruling TMC and West Bengal governor had been locked in a war of words for quite some time over various issues.

On September 19, the governor faced criticism from ruling TMC for visiting and rescuing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Babul Supriyo who faced strong protest by the students of Jadavpur University (JU) after he went there to attend an event organized by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Not the least, on September 24, 2019, Dhankhar had visited Siliguri to inaugurate the newly constructed building of Indian Chamber of Commerce. Then, he expressed his desire to interact with the district administration and MP, MLAs of Darjeeling district. However, most of them citing ‘unavoidable reason’ stayed away from the meeting.

He faced similar situation at North and South 24 Parganas districts at Dhamakhali and in Sajnakhali respectively where administrative officials, MLSs and MPs expressed their inability to attend his administrative meetings without the permission of the state government.

On October 11, 2019, situation turned bitter during Durga Puja carnival at iconic Red Road in Kolkata after Dhankhar accused that he was sidelined and he was not shown on television during the carnival.

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