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Even as TMC Fumes, Bengal Guv Says Why only Singur, Want to Spend Time in Nandigram as Well

Angered by the governor’s ‘surprise’ visit to Singur on November 11, leaders of the ruling camp have said Jagdeep Dhankhar is violating the norms of his post.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:November 16, 2019, 8:31 PM IST
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Even as TMC Fumes, Bengal Guv Says Why only Singur, Want to Spend Time in Nandigram as Well
File photos of Jagdeep Dhankar and Mamata Banerjee.

Kolkata: Despite facing criticism from the ruling Trinamool Congress for visiting Singur in Hooghly district on November 11, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has said he would visit the place again and also want to know more about the land movement, including the one that happened in Nandigram, East Midnapore.

After paying floral tribute to the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, on his birth anniversary at Park Street, here, a visibly annoyed Dhankhar said, “People are saying many things over my Singur visit. There was also some protest by a section of women. I would like to clarify that I went to Singur after informing the collector. I went to Burdwan by informing the collector.”

“The problem is some people want to cover up certain facts. But in reality, people want to see what the others are trying to hide. Even I want to see that. I think I should now spend longer hours in Singur. Why only Singur? I should spend some time in Nandigram as well.”

Both Nandigram and Singur land movement gave a huge political mileage to TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and it helped her oust the 34 years of Left rule in Bengal and become the chief minister in 2011.

“I want to see. I want to interact with the local people to know more about Nandigram,” Dhankhar said.

On November 11, while returning from the annual convocation of Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan, Bolpur, Dhankhar paid a surprise visit to Singur. Around 4.30pm, he went straight to the office of Block Development Officer (BDO) Partha Banerjee in Singur, but could not find anyone.

When he sought to know where the BDO was, he was informed that a meeting of senior officials was underway. “Who is the in-charge now? Someone must be there,” Dhankhar told those present at the office.

As a section of locals gathered at the office, the administration, taken aback by the governor’s sudden visit, was trying to handle the situation. Soon after, he left for Kolkata.

Officials present at that time said the governor wanted to know more about the land movement that took place in Singur in 2008. Angered by the governor’s ‘surprise’ visit, leaders of the ruling camp said Dhankhar is violating the norms of his post.

The governor and the Trinamool Congress leadership have been locked in a war of words for quite a while over various issues.

On September 19, Dhankar had gone to Jadavpur University campus to ‘rescue’ Union Minister Babul Supriyo who was facing a strong protest from students who were opposed to his attending an event organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the youth wing of the BJP. The governor’s move was severely criticised by the chief minister and a number of state ministers.

Days later, Dhankhar paid a visit to Siliguri to inaugurate the newly constructed building of the Indian Chamber of Commerce where he expressed his desire to interact with the local administration and MP and MLAs of Darjeeling district. However, most of them stayed away from the meeting citing “unavoidable reason”.

He faced a similar situation during his trip to Dhamkhali and Sajnakhali in North and South 24 Pargana districts, respectively, where administrative officials and lawmakers expressed their inability to attend his meetings without the permission of the state government.

On October 11, an “awkward” situation occurred for the governor at the Durga Puja carnival on the iconic Red Road in Kolkata. Dhankar said he was “sidelined” during the event and not shown on television even for a few moments.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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