West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was left flabbergasted on Sunday as TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee launched a tirade against him, claiming that it was at his behest the three TMC leaders and a former city mayor were arrested in the Narada sting operation case. Dhankhar, on his part, said he was stunned to have heard such an allegation, but stressed that he would leave the matter to the discretion of the people of Bengal.
"The governor is hounding the Trinamool Congress from morning to evening. He played an instrumental role in the arrest of the four leaders," Banerjee told reporters in Hooghly district. He urged people to lodge complaints against the governor at police stations.
"I know about the constitutional provision that says no criminal proceeding can be initiated against the governor, but I will request each and everyone to lodge police complaints in areas where the governor is found provoking crimes, violence and religious divide," Banerjee said. The TMC MP further said that the cases filed against him "can be taken up" for legal action, as and when Dhankhar ceases to be the governor.
Dhankhar had on May 7 sanctioned prosecution of ministers Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, TMC MLA Madan Mitra and former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee on a request by the CBI, which is probing the sting operation that had purportedly caught on camera politicians accepting bribes. All four of them, arrested by the central agency amid high drama on May 17, were state ministers at the time of the alleged commission of crime.
Addressing Banerjee as a senior functionary of the TMC, a parliamentarian and an advocate, Dhankhar tweeted, "Just stunned but leave the matter to sound discretion of cultured people of West Bengal and media." Banerjee, in a veiled dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also said during his interaction with mediapersons that "tears won't help an incompetent person retain power as he has failed to handle the Covid-19 situation". "Majority of Indians are waiting for the dawn of the country's second Independence Day in 2024," he added.
Modi was visibly emotional on Friday as he spoke about people who lost their lives due to Covid-19 during a video conference with health workers. The next general election in the country is scheduled to be held in 2024.