'Censorship In West Bengal': Governor Fumes After Officials Refuse To Meet Him For Second Time
Dhankar lambasted the state government and bureaucrats for not attending the interactive sessions he had organised during his visit to the Sunderbans across the districts of North and South 24 Parganas.
Dhankar described as 'unconstitutional' and alleged censorship after his two proposed meetings in the Sundarbans failed to take off with the district administrations refusing to send the invites and informing him instead that permission of the state government was required for such 'action'.
As earlier announced by Raj Bhavan, Dhankhar first went to Dhamakhali, about 75 km from Kolkata in 24 Parganas North District, and then proceeded to 24 Parganas South district's Sajnekhali, but found the district magistrates and senior police officers absent. Public representatives belonging to the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) were also absent.
Speaking to reporters, Dhankar said at Dhamakhali that he had notified the district administration on October 17 about his intended visit and directed that invites be sent out to those he wanted to participate in the interaction.
"But on October 21, I received a reply from the district magistrate that permission of the West Bengal government is required for the undersigned (district magistrate) to request the invitees to attend the interactive session," news agency IANS quoted the Governor saying, reading from the letter. Calling it "unconstitutional", the Governor said he was the constitutional head of the state and not "subordinate to the state government".
"If I am making a visit, they should have given an invite. They have not done it. I find it odd, I find it absolutely unconstitutional," he said. Dhankar also took exception to the DM's contention that "all senior government functionaries were in north Bengal for an administrative review meeting of the Chief Minister," the letter said.
"Honourable Chief Minister has gone to North Bengal, that's fine. But the government doesn't go on a holiday?" Dhankhar said. There was a virtual replay at Sajnekhali - around 97 km from Kolkata. The DM had given a letter to Raj Bhavan on identical lines as his 24 Parganas North counterpart.
The Governor exploded against the state government again at Sajnekhali, calling the treatment meted out to him as "shame for democracy" and said the cultured people of Bengal will find it very difficult to swallow.
The development came a month after the Governor had a similar experience in Siliguri of Darjeeling district in northern Bengal where he had also convened a meeting of public representatives and senior officials.
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