West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Tuesday wondered if there was some kind of censorship in the state after district authorities refused to meet him due to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s administrative tour of North Bengal, PTI reported. Last week, the governor had said that he would hold meetings with district officials and elected leaders of North and South 24 Parganas districts, which he began touring on Tuesday.
“I am astonished to receive the letters from the district officials in which they have expressed their inability to attend the meetings, that too four days since my intimation,” Dhankar said. “I do not know whether some sort of censorship is in place in West Bengal. Despite this, I will continue my tour of the districts.”
The governor’s office received letters from the two district magistrates saying they would not be able to attend the meetings due to the chief minister’s tour. The letter stated that all senior officials would be in North Bengal between October 21 and October 23 for the chief minister’s administrative review meetings.
The district officials reportedly informed Dhankar that they would also require prior permission from the state government for the meeting. “With reference to a letter dated October 10, 2019, Secretary to the Governor of West Bengal, this is to kindly inform you that permission of the government of West Bengal is required (for the undersigned) to request the invitees (public representatives, government officials), to attend the interactive session scheduled at Zila Parishad Guest House, Dhamakhali, North 24 Parganas,” the letter read, according to News18.
The governor, who visited Dhamakhali on Tuesday morning, described the refusal of the district authorities as “unconstitutional”.
The developments came a week after the governor said that he felt “insulted and deeply pained” at a Durga Puja event hosted by Banerjee. He alleged that the ruling Trinamool Congress made him sit on a separate stage during the programme on October 11, which went on for four hours.
Dhankar is known to be a vocal critic of the Mamata Banerjee-led state government. Last month, the Trinamool Congress expressed its unhappiness after the governor went to Jadavpur University to escort Union minister Babul Supriyo, who was allegedly heckled by protesting students.
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