The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday said it has approached President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking the removal of Jagdeep Dhankhar as the governor of West Bengal, PTI reported.
The party accused Dhankhar of “transgressing constitutional limits” by regularly commenting against the Mamata Banerjee-led state administration. A team of Trinamool Congress MPs wrote to the president on Tuesday listing such instances, the party’s lawmaker in Rajya Sabha Sukhendu Sekhar Roy told reporters.
“The governor holds office during the pleasure of the president as per Article 156, Clause 1,” Roy said. “We have urged the president to withdraw the pleasure, which translates to removing this governor.”
Alleging that Dhankhar has been making statements against the state government at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government, Roy said it was an unprecedented situation in the history of the state.
“Interminable critical tweets and statements directed against the West Bengal government, the hon’ble chief minister, AITC [All India Trinamool Congress] – with a political bias – are likely to cause law and order problem,” the MPs wrote in the letter, according to NDTV. They said that the tendency of the governor to support a political party “strikes at the very root of federalism”.
The letter also took exception to Dhankhar seeking apology from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, following an attack on BJP President JP Nadda’s convoy, during his visit to the state earlier this month. “Seeking apology from the hon’ble chief minister of the state on an unfortunate incident on BJP president’s convoy is another transgression by the governor,” it said.
Speaking to reporters, Roy said that the governor should make comments through channels prescribed in the Constitution and not by “tweeting or holding press meets”, PTI reported.
“We have noticed that since he arrived in the state in July last year, he has been regularly tweeting, holding press meets and participating in TV discussions, where he is regularly passing comments on the functioning of the state government,” Roy said. Apart from Roy, the letter has been signed by TMC leaders Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Kalyan Banerjee and Derek O’Brien.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress also attacked Dhankhar in a series of tweets on Wednesday and reiterated the demand for his removal.
On the other hand, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Dhankhar alleged that free and fair elections were not held in the state and it was his duty to ensure that people get the opportunity to exercise their franchise without fear, reported PTI. He also urged the government machinery to be neutral during the West Bengal Assembly elections scheduled in April-May next year.
Reacting to the letter, the BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that the governor was acting within his constitutional parameters and that the Trinamool Congress was scared, reported NDTV.
“I don’t think the TMC’s action of moving the president for the removal of the governor will have any impact,” Vijayvargiya said. “The president will go by his own understanding of the governor’s role.”