WB CM Mamata Banerjee asks Guv Dhankar NOT to usurp her constitutional powers

File photo of CM Mamata Banerjee and governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. (HT Photo)

THE stand-off between West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar, senior supreme Court Lawyer before elevation to the Raj  Bhavan, and career politician Mamata Banerjee, heading the state government, continues unabated. The issue being the mandates given to them constitutionally. The Chief Minister says she has been elected by the people whereas Dhankar is nominated by the GOI. Jhunjhnu born Dhankar, a former Union Minister, contests her contention and tries to be an active governor. On Saturday, May 2 Mamata Banerjee, who was also a Union Minister, slammed Governor Dhankar accusing him of trying to “usurp powers” amid the coronavirus crisis and asked him to desist from using official communications and logos on social media. Dhankar has alleged the collapse of the Public Distribution System in the state and corruption in the PDS. Banerjee responded furiously after the governor shot off two letters to the chief minister last week amid the clash between the Raj Bhavan and Nabanna, the state secretariat, in the wake of West Bengal’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak pointing out flaws in the strategy to contain the dreaded virus. Mamata Banerjee, doubling as health and home minister, is also being criticized by the opposition for her policy to contain coronavirus in the state. “Such words and such communications of such content, tenor and tone from a Governor to an elected CM are unprecedented in the annals of Indian constitutional and political history. Your words against me and my ministers and officers can be described as vituperative, intemperate, intimidating and abusive,” Banerjee said in her 14-page reply to Dhankar. Accusing him of preaching and sermonising constitutional norms “without practicing it and violating it”, she said the governor may not agree with her policies, but unfortunately, he has no other power than bringing it to her notice, as long as the government commands the confidence of the legislature. “I beseech you to desist from intensifying your efforts to usurp powers, especially at the time of crisis… You should desist from using official communications/logos for your continuous tweets on social media,” the chief minister said. Unfortunately, he has no other power than bringing it to her notice, as long as the government commands the confidence of the legislature, she said. (edited by PK Chakravarty with courtesy to HT for the picture )

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