WB-KIFF LD DHANKHAR

Not invited to KIFF, not concerned : Dhankhar
(Incorporating additional information)
    Kolkata, Nov 8 (PTI) West Bengal Governor Jagdeep
Dhankhar on Friday said that he has not been invited to the
inauguration of 25th Kolkata International Film Festival KIFF)
by the Mamata Banerjee government but he is not concerned
about it.
    Dhankhar, who has been at loggerheads with the ruling
Trinamool Congress on a number of isses, said what concerned
him was the attitude of the state government.
    The inauguration of the KIFF took place on Friday
evening and was attended by prominent film personalities of
the country including superstar Rakhi Gulzar, Shah Rukh Khan,
Mahesh Bhatt.
    "I am not concerned about not being invited to the
Kolkata International Film Festival, but with the attitude (of
the state government)," he said and referred to the "insult"
at the Durga Puja carnival in October.
    "You all have seen what happened in the (Durga Puja)
carnival... It was unthinkable... Someone said that I am
looking for publicity. I do not wish to respond to
everything," Dhankhar told PTI.
    He said, "There is no urge in me to attend the
function. But there is urge in me to see that interest of the
state of West Bengal is not compromised."
    Dhankhar had said that he felt insulted at the Durga
Puja Carnival and had claimed that he was "completely blacked
out at the programme".
    Sources had said that the governor was unhappy over
the seating arrangements at the Carnival, which was arranged
by the government to showcase some of the big ticket pujas.
    The governor was given a seat at a corner dias and
could not watch the programme properly, they said.
    The ruling Trinamool Congress had hit back by accusing
Dhankar of being "publicity hungry" and acting in a manner
that does not "befit a governor".
    Dhankhar also alleged that for the last three months
he has noticed that a script was executed to specify the role
of the governor.
    He chose not to respond to media reports on Chief
Minister Mamata Banerjee referring to him on Thursday as a
"BJP party man" after declining to react to his statement that
people of the state were deprived of the benefits of Ayushman
Bharat Yojana - the Centre's flagship health scheme.
    The governor had also claimed on Thursday that he had
received around 3,000 applications from across the state
seeking medical assistance.
    "There has been a reaction by the honourable chief
minister yesterday which is widely reported in the media.
That's her first reaction. I would choose not to react to her
reaction. Not every ball is required to be played. I will not
do that," he said.
    Stating that it would be healthy for democracy if the
Governor's office is not "ignored", Dhankhar said "I would
indicate that it is not wholesome for democracy and it is
beyond any propriety that a constitutional office should be
ignored or treated the way it is being done".
    He said, "If I have raised issues pertaining to
deprivation of the benefits to the people of West Bengal of
central schemes that are beneficial in nature and in the
interest of the state consistent with my oath which is to
serve the people of the state ... If I indicated that in a
short span more than 3,000 applications seeking medical
assistance have come to me then it indicates that all is not
well.
    "In that context, I made an observation that globally
Narendra Modi's Ayushman Bharat has been acclaimed. Benefit of
Ayushman Bharat can reach to more than one crore families in
West Bengal," the governor said.
    He said that the Rs two crore at his disposal is not
enough and has to be used for 17 different "items".
    "Therefore, I made that comment (on Ayushman Bharat).
That's the writing on the wall (deprivation of the people). If
we do not take ourselves the benefits that are due to us, then
we are hurting ourselves. Self infliction of a wound can never
be good politics," Dhankhar added. PTI SCH
KK KK

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)