Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, condemning Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s comments on an attack on BJP chief JP Nadda’s convoy, asked her to withdraw them and warned today: “Madam, please don’t play with fire”.
Mr Dhankhar this morning submitted a report to the central government on the “deteriorating” law and order situation in Bengal, after which the state’s police chief and Chief Secretary have been summoned on Monday.
Mr Nadda’s convoy was attacked with bricks, stones and sticks near Kolkata on Thursday afternoon. Some leaders were injured and cars were damaged in the incident, which the BJP said was the work of supporters of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress. The incident took place at Diamond Harbour, the parliamentary constituency of the Chief Minister’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
“The events that happened yesterday are most unfortunate,” Mr Dhankhar said.
He detailed how he had summoned the police chief and Chief Secretary over the incident and they came without any report. “I was shocked, I was shamed. A very painful day in governance,” he said.
Mr Dhankhar also hit out at Mamata Banerjee over her comments deriding Mr Nadda and questioning whether the attack was staged.
“I take a very serious note of the statement made by the chief minister. How can a responsible chief minister, believing in rule of law, believing in Constitution, and believing in rich Bengali culture, talk the way she did. I appeal to her – madam, please reflect, please maintain some dignity and grace, and take back those words,” he said.
The Governor also referred to Ms Banerjee blaming the incident on “outsiders making trouble”.
“Madam Chief Minister, India is one, Indians are one, please do not play with or fan this kind of fire. You are under oath of the constitution, please respect it. Who is an outsider, who is an insider, please do not indulge in these kinds of statements,” he said.