Government officers in Bengal do not follow rule of law, Jagdeep Dhankhar said (File)
Democracy is in deep peril in Bengal, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar claimed, adding that governance is much away from constitutional norms.
"Democracy is in deep peril here. Governance is much away from constitutional norms," the Governor said after paying tribute to Dr BR Ambedkar at his statue in the state Assembly on the occasion of National Voters' Day.
Government officers in the state do not follow rule of law, he added.
"Government officers (in the state) have forgotten rules. Their actions are far distanced from constitutional norms and their conduct regulations. They're playing with fire. They are under the wrong impression if they think what can the man in Raj Bhavan do," Mr Dhankhar said.
"It is my duty, obligation, and my constitutional oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution," he added.
Jagdeep Dhankhar also alleged that voters in the state are not allowed to exercise their voting rights freely and fearlessly, referring to the incidents of post-poll violence last year.
"Voters are the most important stakeholder in democracy. A democracy thrives, sustains, and blossoms only on the strength of voters. If a voter independently, fairly, fearlessly exercises his right, that is a sense of democracy. I am sorry to tell you that in West Bengal a voter does not have that freedom. It is totally missing," he said.
"We have seen post-poll violence of unprecedented level for those who dared to vote according to their right had to pay price with their life. Post-poll violence of that gravity - arson, loot, rape, killings - was unheard of. We were put to shame before national and global community," he added.
"I appeal to everyone that democracy is imperilled, democracy is deeply threatened if the voter does not enjoy this right uninterruptedly and fearlessly. That is not the situation here."
The Governor also claimed that the state chief secretary and top cop do not respond to his calls. "Have these officials become law themselves?" he asked.
Alleging that no rule of law is followed in the state, Jagdeep Dhankhar said that over 25 vice-chancellors were appointed without the Governor's approval.