The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has said that the party will appreciate it if West Bengal Governor Jadgeep Dhankhar removed pictures of an ailing Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee from his Twitter account. Dhankhar has been severely criticised for sharing photographs of the former CM on social media after he called on Bhattacharjee on Saturday.

An unwell Bhattacharjee is seen on his bed in the pictures tweeted by Dhankhar. The posting of these pictures has been said to be “wrong and unethical” by CPI(M) politburo member Mohammed Salim. After Md Salim, the party state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra wrote on Twitter from his official account @mishra_surjya to say that the Governor has insulted his chair. Mishra has shared the link of The Bengal Story’s article while posting his comment on Twitter.

“Alongwith Mrs Sudesh Dhankhar today called on veteran communist leader and former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and his wife Meera ji and wished them subhoy [sic] Ashtami and good health”: Dhankhar tweeted from his official account on Saturday.

This is what the West Bengal CPIM posted on Twitter: “While we at @CPIM_WESTBENGAL appreciate Shri @jdhankhar1 ji’s (Governor of WB) genuflection of visiting our ex-CM Comrade Buddhadeb Bhattacharya at his residence to inquire after his health we are deeply hurt by the pictures that were taken during your visit & shared by you. Com. Bhattacharya is an internationally known and commended politician who has served our State for decades with dedication. His contribution to the development of WB is acknowledged even by his political opponents. He is one of the most loved CMs & treasured by his comrades. Photographing him when he is most vulnerable and then publishing them on social media has deeply hurt the sentiments of not only @cpimspeak sympathizers spread all across the globe but also general people at large. We would be appreciative if those pictures were taken down.”

The pictures have led to a reactions from people on Twitter who have called it a matter of privacy that should not have been shared. Some have said that they do not wish to see such pictures of Bhattacharjee – lying unwell on bed, and criticised the Governor for sharing such photographs. The photographs have also caused huge disgruntlement among hundreds of CPI(M) supporters. His pictures have not been published in the media or on social media in recent times. The former CM has always preferred to remain a private person and wanted respect to his privacy even when he was working, fit and active.

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Mamata Banerjee