West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday said that the law and order situation in the state is in a shambles and top bureaucrats are serving as political workers. “The bureaucracy has been politicised,” he alleged, adding that this was the biggest challenge for a democracy. He was speaking at a press conference after calling on Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi.

It is being assumed that Dhankhar’s allegations at the press conference were similar to what he has informed the Union Home Minister in his written report on the situation in West Bengal. He may have questioned how the state Assembly elections for Bengal can be held in 2021 in this situation.

At the press conference, Dhankhar further added that there is political violence in the state, and no place for human rights. He mentioned the case of a BJP worker whose body was allegedly lying in a hospital morgue for 16 days. He alleged that a second post mortem was not being carried out by the state despite court instructions.

Without referring to political analyst Prashant Kishor — whom the Trinamool Congress has engaged as advisor for the 2021 Assembly elections — the Governor on Thursday said that “some people who are not directly involved in politics” are wielding power in the state. Dhankhar added that the government is not ready for talks to sort out matters. He said that though he had inquired about the law and order situation from the state’s Director General of Police (DGP), he had received a two-line reply from the officer, and the CM had come into the picture in order to protect him. “I am surprised and ashamed at this attitude,” Dhankhar said.

Trinamool Congress leader Sougata Roy reacted to the Governor’s allegations saying that the Dhankhar is speaking on behalf of the BJP and he is not going to take such allegations seriously. “The law and order situation in West Bengal is way better than the BJP-ruled states, including Uttar Pradesh,” Roy said.

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Mamata Banerjee