After months of hitting out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her administration over various issues, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar appears to have softened his stance yet again. This is the first time after being sworn in as Governor, that he and Mamata held a meeting on Monday.
Mamata arrived at Raj Bhavan at the scheduled time of 12:00pm and stayed over an hour. However, the Chief Minister left the premises without speaking to the media, leaving the window open for speculation.
The Governor, however, chose to speak about the meeting through a tweet. “Had an extremely satisfying hour-long interaction with Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Raj Bhavan,” read the tweet which also had photographs of their meeting.
The Governor and Banerjee have had a war of words over various issues over law and order in the State and the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA), National Register of Citizenship(NRC) and National Population Register(NPR). The Governor has often appeared to support the BJP-led Central government over various issues which have irked the Trinamool Congress(TMC) supremo.
However, in the opening speech of the State budget in the Assembly on February 7, the Governor read out the unchanged speech submitted by authorities in the TMC Government which spoke about fear and intolerance. The move was applauded by Ministers of the Mamata cabinet who were present in the Assembly. The Governor went on to say that he looks to work in tandem with the State government and is confident that both sides will work towards the welfare of the State.
Things took a different turn and appeared to be back to square one when the Governor issued a statement on February 10 about how there was a blackout to his address in the Assembly on February 7. He went on to say that this was in sharp contrast to his address on earlier occasions.
The statement read, “Governor Dhankar takes this as an intolerant act and violation of the right of the people. This also compromises the right to expression,” said the Governor in his statement which goes on to speak about the discrimination where State Finance Minister Amit Mitra’s speech was telecast live and called it crucifixion of democratic values.
Mamata meeting the Governor on Monday raised speculations, with Mamata trying to play her cards right in the wake of the upcoming Municipal elections slated to be in April. These elections will be a litmus test for the TMC, which will face the real test of whether the party will come to power for a third time after battling it out with the BJP in the 2021 Assembly elections.