West Bengal Governor miffed as CM skips Independence Day event
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar expressed his annoyance over Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's absence at a traditional tea party at the Raj Bhawan to celebrate the 74th Independence Day on Saturday. Dhankhar said that he was "startled and stunned" as the CM skipped the event, adding that she has set a "bad precedent." Notably, the two have had many public run-ins in recent months.
Banerjee paid 'courtesy visit' to Raj Bhawan; skipped I-Day event
After hoisting the national flag on Red Road, Kolkata, Saturday morning, Banerjee paid an unscheduled visit to the Raj Bhawan with four senior officials—Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, Home Secretary Alapan Banerjee, Director General of Police Virendra, and Kolkata Police commissioner Anuj Sharma. She later termed the Raj Bhawan visit a "courtesy call," adding that she will not attend the traditional 'At Home' ceremony.
'Banerjee's absence startled and stunned me'
Dhankhar said in a tweet on Saturday, "Absence of CM and officials @MamataOfficial on occasion of Independence Day celebration at Raj Bhawan has like many startled and stunned me. We need to rise to occasion as respect to freedom fighters who gave their all to secure for us freedom and democracy. I'm at loss of words." He added that the "vacant seat speaks volumes."
'Banerjee set bad precedent by not attending'
Dhankhar tweeted Sunday morning, "Glimpses of 'At Home' reception hosted on Independence Day at Raj Bhavan. CM and executive @MamataOfficial set bad precedent by not attending. Another painful instance of distancing from Constitution. Law and order further nosedived with rise in political violence and killing."
You can view Dhankhar's tweet here
Glimpses of 'At Home' reception hosted on Independence Day at Raj Bhavan.— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) August 16, 2020
CM and executive @MamataOfficial set bad precedent by not attending. Another painful instance of distancing from Constitution.
Law order further nosedived with rise in political violence killing. pic.twitter.com/ADwc4yUlma
'At Home' event was well attended, says Dhankhar
The Governor said that the 'At Home' event at Raj Bhawan was "well attended," adding that it was organized keeping COVID-19 protocol in mind. He said that less than 35 people were invited. Among those invited were Calcutta High Court Chief Justice TN Radhakrishnan, Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Indra Prasanna Mukerji, Congress' Abdul Mannan, left leader Sujan Chakraborty, among others.