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  India   All India  07 Mar 2020  West Bengal BJP upset over governor-Shah meet

West Bengal BJP upset over governor-Shah meet

Published : Mar 7, 2020, 6:22 am IST
Updated : Mar 7, 2020, 6:22 am IST

The meeting also reportedly discussed the possible violence in the upcoming civic polls, due to be held in April.

West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar
 West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar

New Delhi: After assuming office, West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar for the first time on Friday met Union home minister Amit Shah to apprise him of various issues of “governance” and the “worsening law and order situation” in the state. The meeting also reportedly discussed the possible violence in the upcoming civic polls, due to be held in April.

The meeting, held at the governor’s initiative, comes within a week of Mr Shah’s visit to Kolkata, where at a rally he had expressed “concern” over the law and order situation in West Bengal.

The governor’s rushing to New Delhi to meet the home minister has apparently upset a section of BJP state unit leaders. They felt that the governor’s “daily interference in state politics“ and his “running acrimony” with chief minister and Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee was “harming the BJP” in West Bengal. Some state unit leaders have reportedly conveyed their “displeasure” over the governor’s role to the BJP high command.

It was pointed out that Ms Banerjee was indicating that since the BJP was “failing to make any dent in Bengal”, it was “using the governor”. Speaking from Kolkata, a senior party leader said: “The governor should remain silent. The fight is between the BJP and the Trinamul Congress, not between the governor and Mamata Banerjee”.

It may be recalled the governor had recently crossed swords with the TMC leadership over the forthcoming municipal elections. A few days back, state municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim was quoted as saying: “The governor should not be worried about any possible violence in the upcoming civic polls since law and order is a state issue. If as a person he feels deeply about crimes against human beings, then he should feel pained at the recent Delhi riots which took several human lives, while more dead bodies might be recovered.”

Hitting back, the governor issued a statement that said: “The approach of minister Firhad Hakim with respect to the role of the governor of the state, to say the least, betrays elementary ignorance both of the Constitution and the role of the governor. Making such public statements, contrary to the constitutional essence and spirit, does not promote synergy between the constitutional head and the state government.”

The governor said the “violence trail witnessed during those elections (panchayat and Lok Sabha)  cannot be allowed to be repeated.”

As polarisation appears to be the main election plank for the coming Assembly elections in the state, talk has started in the state BJP over the projection of a chief ministerial candidate. A section of the party is of the view that going into the polls without a face could give chief minister Mamata Banerjee, a big advantage.

Leading the race to be the party face is BJP state unit chief Dilip Ghosh. However, another section in the state unit indicated that to win in West Bengal, the BJP must come up with a “Bengali bhadralok face”. This particular section felt that Dilip Ghosh’s “foul rhetoric” went “against the sensitivity of Bengal’s bhadralok culture”.

Three other names, who apparently fit into the “genteel bhadralok genre”, have surfaced and if sources are to be believed, all three are “actively” lobbying for the coveted post. The BJP leaders in the race for the top post include Union minister Babul Supriyo, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta and  Anirban Ganguly, director of the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation (SPMRF).

Tags: jagdeep dhankhar, amit shah