Hours after West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar met Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Arun Mishra ‘to address post-poll violence’ in the West Bengal, both Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Left Front condemned the move and claimed it as an ‘unprecedented act’ by any constitutional head of state.
Soon after the meeting, Dhankhar tweeted, “Had a courtesy meeting in New Delhi with former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Arun Kumar Mishra, Chairperson National Human Rights Commission @India_NHRC.”
Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar had a courtesy meeting in New Delhi with former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Arun Kumar Mishra, Chairperson National Human Rights Commission @India_NHRC pic.twitter.com/7q7yAVIWDN— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) June 16, 2021
The TMC, however, called it ‘an act to appease the BJP’.
TMC MP, Sukhendu Shekhar Roy, also hit out at Dhankar and accused him of violating constitutional norms by visiting the NHRC chief.
“His act is condemnable and today he proved that he is a BJP agent. I don’t remember any BJP leader or minister meeting the NHRC chief in the recent past. But our Governor rushed to meet him. He is doing it to appease the BJP leaders. This only shows that he is not only crossing all limits but also acting against the Indian constitution,” Roy said.
He said, “The Governor should be removed immediately for creating an unwarranted hurdle before the elected government in West Bengal and for maligning the image of the state.”
Left Front Chairman Biman Bose chimed in. “Whatever he is doing nowadays cannot be a Governor’s act. He is crossing constitutional limits. He is acting as a man of the BJP.”
Defending the meeting, BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said, “Nearly 28 BJP workers were killed after Mamata Banerjee took oath as chief minister of Bengal. Don’t you think it is unprecedented? Nowhere in the Constitution, it’s written that a Governor can’t meet the NHRC chief.”
The standoff between Mamata Banerjee and Dhankhar has intensified again in the last few days after he alleged that the CM has been silent over post-poll violence in the state and has not taken any steps to rehabilitate and compensate the victims.
He also wrote to Mamata Banerjee hours before his departure to Delhi on Tuesday night.
“I am constrained to observe your continued silence and inaction over post-poll retributive bloodshed, violation of human rights, outrageous assault on the dignity of women, wanton destruction of property, the perpetuation of untold miseries on political opponents - worst since independence and it ill augurs for democracy,” Dhankhar letter to Mamata Banerjee read.
He further alleged, “Your studied silence, coupled with the absence of any steps to engage in rehabilitation and compensation to alleviate the unimaginable suffering of people, force an inevitable conclusion that all this is state-driven.”
Responding to Dhankhar’s letter, the State Home Department, in a series of tweets, accused him of ‘violating the sanctity of his office’.
“The Governor’s act of making his letter to CM public was violative and disrupts the sanctity of such official communications.”
“It was observed with dismay and distress that the Governor of West Bengal has suddenly made public a letter of his to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, with contents that are not consistent with real facts,” the WB Home Department tweeted.
The TMC has shared an acrimonious relation with Dhankhar since its previous term in the government when he assumed office in July 2019.