Mamata Banerjee addresses a press conference at Nabanna, in Howrah. (PTI Photo)
Kolkata: In an unprecedented move, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she was "forced to block" governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Twitter after getting "irritated" by his constant "abuse" against her.
Branding Mr Dhankhar as a "super watchman" of the state of affairs in the state, an angry Trinamul Congress supremo also accused him of snooping with the Pegasus spyware from Raj Bhavan and encouraging "BJP thugs to trigger violence". Her high-voltage outburst came on a day that TMC Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandopadhyay urged President Ram Nath Kovind in the House at the opening of Parliament’s Budget Session to have Mr Dhankhar removed as governor.
The CM said: "I was forced to do something today. I seek prior apology for this. The governor abuses, sometimes me or our officers, by tweeting accusations and unethical and unconstitutional remarks daily. He sermonises us to follow his instructions as if we are his servants. Despite being an elected government, we have become bonded labourers while he, getting nominated, has emerged as a super watchman though he was never elected even as a councillor. I was forced to block him from my Twitter account today because I used to get irritated after his daily tweets in which he spoke about something which should not be spoken about and are inhuman too."
Complaining about Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignoring her appeals for Mr Dhankhar’s removal as governor, Ms Banerjee said: "I wrote to him four times, besides telling him. But he’s not listening. I again request him to withdraw this governor as he is threatening all. What does he think about himself? You may remember that the Jyoti Basu government was forced to remove then governor Dharma Vira for not clearing merely two files. But we have been tolerating this governor for the last year and a half."
Saying that Mr Dhankhar was holding back many files, the CM claimed: "He is directly encouraging some BJP thugs to unleash violence here. Pegasus is being run from Raj Bhavan. One Pegasus is underway all over India, another is here. He is controlling all the officers by tapping their phones. Visit Raj Bhavan and see who else are there. All the documents are there."
Unable to tag Ms Banerjee like earlier, Mr Dhankhar later tweeted: "Guv WB: Mandated under Article 159 of the Constitution to ensure none in the state ‘blocks’ Constitutional Norms and Rules of Law and those in authority ‘bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India’ … Under Article 167 it is Constitution ‘duty’ of the Chief Minister to furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for. Why ‘block’ information to Guv now for two years?"
He added: "WB Guv Message to Hon’ble CM on her WHATSAPP today and read by her at 10.25 am today -- Dialogue and harmony amongst constitutional functionaries is essence and spirit of democracy and mandate of the Constitution. This can blossom with mutual regard and respect… There has been all through highest personal regard for you from my side. Am sure this will receive your thoughtful consideration. Regards."