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Mamata govt hasn't given information for 2 years, says Bengal governor

Dhankhar trying to boost state BJP morale, allege TMC

dhankhar mamata A collage of Mamata Banerjee and Jagdeep Dhankhar | Salil Bera

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday accused the Mamata Banerjee government of not providing any information related to his previous queries on a host of issues including a probe into purchase of kits and medical equipment to fight Covid-19 and alleged that it is an “unprecedented constitutional transgression”.

In a letter to Banerjee, which he shared on Twitter, Dhankhar claimed that “for two years” the state government has provided no information sought by him.

The ruling Trinamool Congress alleged that the governor is trying to boost the morale of the state unit of the BJP, which is facing an internal feud.

“In disregard of constitutional 'duty' under Article 167 @MamataOfficial there is failure to provide any information to Guv including: Pandemic Purchase Enquiry, BGBS, Bengal Aerotropolis Project, GTA, MAA Canteen, & Pegasus Notification. Unprecedented constitutional transgression,” Dhankhar tweeted.

Dhankhar had earlier flagged the hosting of the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) by the state government and sought to know how much had been invested in previous editions of the summit and details about investment proposals.

He had also sought information on some other matters such as Maa Canteen and the Pegasus spyware probe panel set up by the state government. “Enormity of the situation is that for now, for over two years no information sought has been provided. Such failure to perform constitutional duty under Article 167 is unprecedented and Ill augurs for governance as per law,” he said in the letter he wrote to the chief minister on January 19, a copy of which was attached to the Twitter post.

Article 167 of the Constitution lays down the duties of the chief minister to furnish information to the governor. “Such transgressions contrary to constitutional essence and spirit are serious and concerning,” Dhankhar's letter read. Turning his gun on the state bureaucracy, Dhankhar said it is worrisome that officials “blatantly” violate constitutional norms and IAS (Conduct) Rules.

He was apparently annoyed over top state officials not responding to his directive to visit him at Raj Bhavan and explain several issues that included why the police prevented leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari from going to Netai village—where CPI(M) activists allegedly fired on villagers, killing nine people in 2011 during the Left Front rule—to pay tribute to the victims.

Calling upon the CM “to vindicate her oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India & act,” Dhankhar said, “Upcoming Republic day is a reminder to earnestly carry out our constitutional obligations and duty.”

Reacting to Dhankhar's tweets, Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh claimed that he is acting like an emissary of the BJP. “The governor is continuously picking up one issue after another at the behest of leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari. As the BJP is disintegrating in West Bengal and the TMC's popularity keeps swelling, Dhankhar is working to boost the sagging morale of the BJP by his tweets,” Ghosh said.

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