Governor-Chief Minister Conflict Reaches a New Height in West Bengal

    24-Apr-2020
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The conflict between the Governor and the Chief Minister reached a flashpoint this week when, in response to a message (SMS) of the Governor, an irritated Mamata Banerjee wrote a 5-page letter reminding the Governor of his constitutional responsibilities and limitations; now Governor replies with facts and says . "cannot turn 'Nelson's eye' to serious issues of distressed people".
 

-Suman Bhattacharyya

 

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 Jagdish Dhankar accused WB government that doctors are being maltreated in hospitals and are not getting adequate PPE and other equipment for treating Corona patients
 
 
 
The conflict between the Governor and the Chief Minister of West Bengal reached a new height on 23 April, Thursday. In the past, too, there had been several occasions on which the conflict between the two had come into the light. However, on Thursday, the Governor-Chief Minister conflict took a new turn on the COVID 19 situation in the state as Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, in her 5-page letter to the Governor, reminded him of his constitutional role. In his reply, Jagdeep Dhankar told the Chief Minister that he said everything keeping the interest of the people of West Bengal in mind. In this context, he reminded everyone of the iconic Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Ray. He underlined Ray had also been a physician par excellence.
 
 
The reply of the Governor came at a time when a section of the doctors has raised several questions regarding the insufficiency of the government and its administration. Several organizations of doctors have written to the Chief Minister against the decision of the government that an expert committee from Nabanna, the government headquarters, will certify all cases of death supposedly caused due to COVID 19. There were several points of friction between the Governor and the Chief Minister from the onset of the pandemic in the state. The Governor of West Bengal had tweeted to alert the state administration that the treatment of COVID 19 in several hospitals in the country was inadequate, the condition of most of the hospitals was grim, there was rampant corruption in the rationing system and that the BJP Members of Parliament were stopped from distributing ration in their respective areas. During the recent visit of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team to the state to assess the COVID 19 situation in seven districts of West Bengal, the Governor had also tweeted favouring facilitation of the visit by the government of West Bengal. This, too, had fallen on deaf ears.
 


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Copy of a letter by WB Governor to CM Mamata Banerjee 
 
 
 
The conflict between the Governor and the Chief Minister reached a flashpoint this week when, in response to a message (SMS) of the Governor, an irritated Mamata Banerjee wrote a 5-page letter reminding the Governor of his constitutional responsibilities and limitations. Jagdeep Dhankar has also retorted to this 5-page letter from Mamata Banerjee underlining all that he has said was based on the complaint of the doctors. The Governor once again reminded what the doctors of West Bengal had been consistently saying; in addition to those mentioned above, he also highlighted the complaints that junior doctors are being maltreated in hospitals in the state and that doctors and other health workers in hospitals are not getting adequate PPE and other equipment to protect themselves from COVID 19.
 
 
It is worth mentioning here that Rajib Sinha, Chief Secretary of the Government of West Bengal, has made it clear that the 2 IMCTs sent by the Centre to survey the COVID 19 situation in West Bengal, do not need to investigate further into it.