Top officials absent, admin worked to frustrate my visit’s objective: Jagdeep Dhankhar

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Top officials absent, admin worked to frustrate my visit’s objective: Jagdeep Dhankhar
Dhankhar, who was visiting Dhamakhali in North 24 Parganas, had called a meeting of senior administrative officials of the two districts on Tuesday as part of his visit.(Express photo by Partha Paul)

A day after senior district officials of North and South 24 Parganas skipped his meeting, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday hit out at the administration, accusing it of “total non-cooperation” and “working to frustrate the objective of his visit”.

Taking to Twitter, Dhankhar said: “Greatly touched by the response of the people during my visits to North and South 24 Parganas. The District Administration top was not there and worked to frustrate the object of visit. Total non cooperation! Sad! In pursuit of my constitutional obligation would be undeterred. (sic)”

He also wondered whether young officials were handicapped in imparting inputs to him. “During my visits to North and South 24 Parganas I had the occasion to meet brilliant young officials with the potential to shape the future and wished them well. However, they were handicapped in imparting inputs’ Let’s secure an environment so that all their talent may be exploited,” the Governor tweeted.

After finding senior administrative officials of North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas missing at a meeting called by him, Dhankhar on Tuesday had accused the Trinamool Congress government of “unconstitutional behaviour” with him and wondered whether some “sort of censorship” was in place in the state.

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Dhankhar, who was visiting Dhamakhali in North 24 Parganas, had called a meeting of senior administrative officials of the two districts on Tuesday as part of his visit. The officials, the Governor said, had told him that permission to attend the meeting with him is not available as all senior government officials are presently in north Bengal, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is on an administrative tour.

Dhankhar on Wednesday posted copies of the letters, which he said he had received from district magistrates informing him that the government’s permission was necessary to take part in the meetings.

Dhankhar said, “These communications emanating from the District Magistrates on 21/10 (October 21) potentially indicate a grim situation. Hope amends would follow from the concerned top. Silence over such issues may lead to being silenced forever and that is a day we all need to avoid.”

The Governor in another tweet requested that the civil society and academicians protest such a move.

Tagging Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in his tweet” he said, “…As West Bengal Governor, in pain and concern, I beseech the enlightened academicians, politicians, activists to reflect on worrisome governance issues that I noticed on my visit to North and South 24 Parganas and amplified by District Magistrate on 21/10”.

Reacting to Governor’s tweets, TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said he had never seen a West Bengal Governor criticising the state government” so often.

“If the respected Governor criticise the state government and the chief minister every day then how many times do we have to give a response to it? He has been making statements, posting tweets and talking before media every day. I have never seen a Governor of West Bengal doing this in my entire political career. I had the opportunity to work with many Governors before like Viren J. Shah, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, M K Narayanan and even Keshari Nath Tripathi. I have never witnessed this thing. Even if there were some differences of opinions between a Governor and the state government, it was resolved within the walls of Raj Bhavan. I will not comment on the way the present Governor is working. People are keeping a watch on him and also on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” said the TMC leader.

Chatterjee further said Dhankhar’s approach at resolving a dispute is different from his “predecessors. “During Singur and Nandigram movements, then Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi was firm on his stand. He had held a meeting with then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and then leader of the Opposition (Chatterjee himself) to resolve issues. I think there a difference in his approach. Having said that, our relationship with him will not be strained and there will be no disrespect”from our end,” he said.

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