When the Governor of a State has to clarify on stage that he is “not at war” with the Chief Minister and her administration, it is safe to assume that there have been incidents that suggested otherwise to the public.
The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, and the state’s Governor are locked in a war of words, albeit with occasional ceasefires. And today, after being asked by the media about the Governor, Banerjee simply said, “Please do not ask me such questions” before rising and walking off.
Although the duo had displayed camaraderie during the Kali Puja festival, with Governor Jagdeep Dhankar and his wife visiting Banerjee’s residence, they have a rather chequered past.
During the Durga Puja carnival organised by the State, for example, Dhankar accused the TMC government of sidelining him. He was not visible on the live footage of the carnival and was made to sit at a separate podium adjacent to the main seating area where the CM and other celebrities were sitting.
He added that it took him three days to “recover from this injury to the heart”.
"I felt insulted at the carnival. I am deeply hurt and disturbed. The insult was not to me but to every people of West Bengal. They will never digest such as insult. I am a servant of the people of West Bengal. Nothing can deter me from performing my constitutional duties," Dhankar had said.
He was also dismayed at not being invited to the International Film Festival in Kolkata. “Your Governor so far has not been invited to a single government function,” he had said.
More recently, after Banerjee accused the Centre of tapping her phone, the Governor responded saying that only Banerjee knew what evidence she had, adding that businessmen and various officials and politicians had approached him with the claim that their privacy was being compromised.
Her feud with the Governor aside however, this is not the first time Mamata Banerjee has avoided questions by way of a walkout. Several years ago, taking umbrage at a question about the conduct of senior state officials over crimes against women, the Chief Minister had walked out of a popular TV show. She also called the student a Maoist and a CPM cadre.