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Fresh war of words erupts between WB guv, govt

Fresh war of words erupts between WB guv, govt

A fresh war of words erupted between the West Bengal governor and the state government on Thursday with Jagdeep Dhankhar, the incumbent at the Raj Bhavan saying politics over distribution of relief in areas hit by Cyclone Bulbul hurts democracy. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee responded sharply saying that a person occupying the gubernatorial post should not try to run a parallel administration.

Dhankhar's comment comes a day after BJP criticised the Trinamool Congress government for politicising the relief work. Union Minister Babul Supriyo had on Wednesday faced massive protests during his visit to cyclone-affected areas. "All agencies are working ... (It is) Time is (that) agencies must come forward, the government must come forward and NGOs also must come forward for those who have (suffered) loss of property or life ... I am all for it. I do not want any politics," Dhankhar told reporters here.

"I urge people not to do politics. The moment you put politics into governance it will somewhere damage the fabric of democracy," he added. Dhankhar and BJP's remarks drew sharp reactions from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who without naming either the governor or the saffron party said those who are trying to politicise the issue should refrain from doing so and try to provide relief to the people.

It was a big cyclone. Instead of standing by the affected people, some are playing politics and indulging in vandalism. I would urge them to refrain from it. This is not the time to do politics," she said. In a veiled reference to Dhankhar, the chief minister said those holding constitutional posts have become BJP mouthpieces and those who are "playing dirty games" should stop it.

Banerjee's comment came when she was asked by scribes about her reaction to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's recommendation for imposition of President's Rule in the state. A few people (governors) are acting just like BJP mouthpieces. In my state too, you have seen what is going on -- they want to run a parallel administration," she said.

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh extending support to Dhankhar said the TMC government should stop politicising cyclone relief work. "We completely support what the governor has said. The TMC government should stop politicising the relief work.

Yesterday Babul Supriyo faced massive protests. Our partymen who had gone to South 24 Parganas district were not allowed to distribute relief materials. Is this a healthy practice ?" Ghosh said. The fresh war of words between the governor and state government comes a day after Banerjee urged the people to reamin positive and not to indulge in politics while providing help to those affected by the natural calamity.

"Nobody should do politics over distribution of relief material. Relief material should be distributed irrespective of political identities," Banerjee had said at the administrative review meeting on Wednesday at Basirhat in North 24 Parganas, which was pounded by the cyclone. Dhankhar, who has been at loggerheads with the state government over several issues, had lauded the chief minister's role in leading from the front as the state government and other central agencies worked in synergy to minimize the impact of Cyclone Bulbul.

The governor, who assumed office in July end, has been locked in a war of words with the state government over a number of issues -- ranging from his seating at the Durga Puja carnival to comments on his security since he rushed to Jadavpur University on September 19 to "rescue" Union minister Babul Supriyo, who had been gheraoed by a section of students. A total 14 people, including fishermen of a capsized trawler whose bodies were found by the Coast Guard, had died in the cyclone, which made its landfall late on Saturday between Sagar Island in West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh. As many as six lakh people have been affected and over five lakh houses damaged due to the calamity..

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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