With Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar in Delhi to meet President Ram Nath Kovind and a battery of ministers, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said she has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi thrice for his removal, but the request was not granted. “What can I say? A child can be cajoled into silence. In this case, speech is silver; silence is golden,” she was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
Mr Dhankhar, 70, has not cited a reason for his Delhi visit, which comes a day ahead of tomorrow’s hearing on the post-poll violence in Bengal at the Supreme Court. Days after the elections, he had sent a report on the violence to the Centre.
On Wednesday, he met Union ministers Prahlad Joshi and Prahlad Singh Patel. Earlier in the day, he held a meeting with President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He is also scheduled to meet Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Governor’s visit to Delhi comes amid a longstanding and public feud between him and Ms Banerjee. It was preceded by another spat as the Governor tweeted his letter rebuking the Chief Minister over her handling of the violence.
The state government retaliated with a series of tweets, saying the abrupt, unilateral release of letter to the public is “shocking” and called its contents fabricated.
Asked about reports suggesting that the Governor might be removed, Ms Banerjee said she was not aware of any such development.
“How do I know? When a Governor is appointed, the state government is consulted. That, however, was not done in this case… I have written twice or thrice to the Prime Minister seeking his withdrawal from the state,” PTI quoted her as saying.
On Wednesday, Ms Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress had accused the Governor of violating constitutional norms and requested him not to return to the state.
The CPM’s Biman Bose had also slammed him, alleging that he functioned like a BJP mouthpiece.