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Mamata Says Dhankar Was 'Named in Jain Hawala Case Chargesheet', Governor Hits Back

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (file photo)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (file photo)

Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee called Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar corrupt. Dhankar said her statements are ‘unfortunate’.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday fired a fresh salvo at Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, claiming that he was named in the “chargesheet of Jain Hawala case” — a charge rubbished by the Governor.

Dhankhar claimed that Banerjee’s facts are based on “misinformation” and that he “never expected such a statement from a seasoned politician”.

Speaking to the media persons at state secretariat Nabanna, Banerjee also said she had written three letters in the past to the Centre, demanding Dhankar’s removal as the West Bengal Governor.

“He (Governor Dhankhar) is a corrupt person and his name was there in the chargesheet of the Jain Hawala case (in 1996). I have written three letters for his removal,” the chief minister said.

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“We formed the government in Bengal with a huge mandate from the people. Why would someone (hinting at Governor Dhankhar) unnecessarily dictate his terms?” she said.

The infamous Jain Hawala scandal was a political and financial scandal involving huge payments allegedly sent by politicians through four Hawala brokers, namely the Jain brothers.

‘Such a statement from Mamata is unfortunate’

Responding to Banerjee’s allegations Dhankar addressed a press conference at Raj Bhawan hours later, saying, “This is a clear case of spreading sensation through misinformation.”

“I never expected such a statement from a seasoned politician like Mamata Banerjee. She is like my younger sister and such a statement from her is unfortunate. Let me clarify this that your Governor was never chargesheeted,” he

said.

“Such allegations are far away from the truth. Such tactics cannot hamper my spirit. I will not allow such tactics to come in between while discharging my duties. Find out whether your Governor was chargesheeted or not?” he added.

Asked whether he will take any legal action against Banerjee for her statement, the governor said, “Bharatiya sanskriti mein…koi bhi kya apni chhoti behan ke khilaf action liya hai…(In our Indian culture, does anyone take action against their younger sister?)”

“She is a mature leader and politician and such remarks from her against me are extremely unfortunate. Ten minutes before today’s press conference (by Mamata Banerjee), she called me regarding my concern over some pointers mentioned in my address copy, which I am supposed to read at the State Assembly (on July 2). Soon after my reservations over some points in the address, she held a press conference and accused me of being a corrupt person. Think this before you go to bed today,” the Governor said.

“I am not going to bow down in any situation. I will only bow before the Indian Constitution and not before anyone,” he added.

Minutes after his press meet, TMC MP Sukhendu Shekhar Ray, said, “He is claiming that he was not chargesheeted in the Jain Hawala case, but he didn’t clarify whether his name cropped up in the case or not. We will dig more into this matter and will come up with more facts in the coming days.”

The ruling Trinamool Congress have in the past expressed concern over the role of Dhankhar and even termed Raj Bhavan a BJP office.

Recently, West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee had complained to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla about Dhankar’s interference in the functioning of the state assembly.

Guv demands ‘special audit’ of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration

Earlier on Monday, after receiving reports of malpractices and complaints of corruption, Dhankhar stressed for a “special audit” of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).The GTA is an Autonomous District Council for Darjeeling and Kalimpong.

Speaking to media persons in North Bengal — after his weeklong visit to the region — Dhankhar said, “I have received several complaints of malpractices and corruption in the GTA. As a Governor, I have the power (as per the Constitution), I would ensure full special audit of GTA accounts. It is surprising that there is no elected representative in the GTA and North Bengal lags behind as far as development is concerned.”

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first published:June 28, 2021, 20:20 IST