“Are we the Governor’s servants?” Mamata Banerjee reacts to Jagdeep Dhankhar’s tweets, says he is doing more than a BJP mouthpiece would have

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday attacked Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government, stating that Dhankhar was not only overstepping his limits, but also doing “more than what a BJP mouthpiece” would have. “He is acting more than a politician now,” she said, adding that it was doing “even more than what Amit Shah” would have done in the situation.

Referring to Dhankhar’s repeated tweets and showing a thick file of the responses sent to him from the state government, Banerjee said that the Bengal government had been constantly responding to his queries on various matters. “Are we going to only concentrate on responding to his repeated queries about everything, or do some work to fight the current COVID-19 situation?” she asked. “Are we his servants?” she asked.

Referring to people asking her whether she was not responding to Dhankhar’s questions and queries, she said that she had spoken with him four times on Wednesday. “In the current situation, let him relax a bit, the elections are not really knocking at the door, there is still time,” she said with biting sarcasm, indicating that Dhankhar could attack her later. Her attack was more direct at times, during a press conference at the state administrative headquarters, Nabanna. “I know the value of a Governor, but he too should know the importance of an elected government. A Governor cannot talk like a political party,” she said. “It seems elected people have become servants now.”

“It is crossing all limits now,” Banerjee said, adding that if such provocation continues, it would be fought “politically, democratically”.

Banerjee also attacked the Centre, saying that during the time that the states are fighting the COVID-19 situation, several laws are being changed by the Centre towards “dictatorship” in the country. She appealed to all trade unions, including the BJP affiliated ones, to fight the Centre’s decision to privatise various government-run organisations and to curb the workers’ rights to fight and oppose.

She said that the Centre had not supported the state’s fight against COVID-19, and neither given “PPEs, nor ventilators”. “Is it enough to clap and make noise with utensils?” she asked, a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging people to bang utensils in appreciation of the doctors and health workers fighting the pandemic.

Banerjee said that there were repeated political attacks on her and the government at the slightest slip while fighting the pandemic, and people were being used to hold demonstrations if anything went wrong. “It is a pandemic that even all the developed countries are finding tough fighting against. But instead of cooperating, political games are being played to find slips and to attack us,” she said.

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