West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that she has blocked Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Twitter because of his posts against her government, NDTV reported.
At a press conference in Kolkata, Banerjee accused Dhankhar of saying unconstitutional and unethical things.
“I apologise for it [blocking] in advance,” she added. “He [Dhankhar] tweets something every day abusing me or my officers...He instructs not advises. Treats an elected government like bonded labour. That’s why I have blocked him from my Twitter account. I was getting irritated.”
The Trinamool Congress chief also alleged that the governor has threatened the state’s chief secretary and the director-general of police on several occasions.
“Pegasus is being done from the Raj Bhavan,” she added, claiming that phones are being randomly tapped, according to the Hindustan Times. This came after The New York Times reported on Friday that India purchased Israeli company NSO Group’s Pegasus software as part of a $2 billion weapons package in 2017.
Pegasus allows operators to extract messages, photos, emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones and cameras.
At the press briefing, the West Bengal chief minister said she has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi several times for the removal of Dhankhar from his post. But, no action has been taken so far, she added.
Dhankhar responded to Banerjee’s move to block him on Twitter by citing the Constitution.
The governor and Banerjee have criticised each other a number of times over several matters since he took over the post in 2019. At an event to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary on Sunday, Dhankhar had said the state had become “a gas chamber for democracy” and that he cannot see the “trampling of human rights”, PTI reported.
He added, “I cannot see the hallowed land of Bengal getting blood-drenched [in violence].”
Last week, Dhankhar had also alleged that the political situation in West Bengal was frightening and horrible. “We have seen post-poll violence of unprecedented level,” he had added. “Those who dared to vote according to their own volition had to pay the price with their life. Democracy is in deep peril here.”
Apart from Banerjee, the governor had accused Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee of violating constitutional norms by not providing him information he had asked on multiple matters.
Last year, the West Bengal chief minister had called Dhankhar a “corrupt man” and claimed that his name was in the 1996 Hawala Jain case chargesheet.
The case, also known as the Jain Diaries case, involves payments allegedly made by politicians through four hawala brokers, known as the Jain brothers. It was an $18 million (approximately Rs 133 crore) scandal that allegedly involved some of the country’s leading politicians at that time, including BJP leaders LK Advani, Madan Lal Khurana and Arif Mohammed Khan and Congress’ Madhavrao Scindia.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien also blocked the governor on Twitter.