Bengal Governor Takes Complaints Against Mamata Banerjee To Amit Shah

At a meeting at the home minister's residence in Delhi, Jagdeep Dhankar slammed the Bengal government's alleged mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Jagdeep Dhankar slammed Mamata Banerjee government's alleged mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis (File)

Kolkata/New Delhi:

After sparring bitterly with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for months, most recently and publicly on Friday, Governor Jagdeep Dhankar aired his grievances to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday, calling out the "alarming cliff-edge governance situation in the state."

At a meeting at the home minister's residence in Delhi, Mr Dhankar slammed the Bengal government's alleged mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis. The Governor described the health facilities in the state as abysmally lacking. "Deaths and positive cases are rising every day," he said, and people are "in deep worry at this grim situation."

Among his other top grievances were the state's deteriorating law and order situation, corruption and nepotism in relief distribution to victims of Cyclone Amphan and the ruling Trinamool Congress party's political control of the education sector.

He even brought to the Home Minister's notice an ongoing crisis in the scheduled caste Matua community, which wields considerable electoral clout in the state.

While the specifics of the discussion are not known, Governor Dhankar described the law and order situation as "worrisome and dangerously deteriorating". He has tweeted pointedly about the death of the Hemtabad MLA who was founding hanging in a marketplace in North Dinajpur district and questioned the probability of a police cover-up of a murder as a suicide.

Whether the latest violence at Chopra was discussed is not known but highly likely. On Sunday, a teenaged girl was found dead and while her family claimed gangrape and murder, the police issued a post mortem report that said death by poisoning.

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"The role of the police leaves much to be desired," his press statement said, "and it was high time exemplary action was taken against senior police officials who act in disregard of the conduct rules."

One of the Governor's long-standing complaints has been "rampant corruption and nepotism in Amphan relief distribution," with relief, he said, "being unashamedly siphoned to members of the ruling party."

On Friday, the Governor had described education in the state as being "politically caged and controlled". That sector too came up for discussion with the home minister.

There was no indication in the Governor's press statement about the Home Minister's reactions to his complaints.