West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday said he felt insulted at the Durga Puja carnival in the city, but asserted that being a servant of the people of West Bengal he would not be deterred to discharge his constitutional duties. Dhankar claimed that he was “completely blacked out at the programme”, organized by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government to showcase some of the big-ticket pujas. The ruling TMC was quick to hit back, accusing Dhankar of being “publicity hungry” and acting in a manner that does not “befit a governor”. According to sources, Dhankhar was unhappy with the seating arrangement at Friday’s carnival.
He was given a seat from where he couldn’t watch the programme properly, they said. “I felt insulted at the carnival. I am deeply hurt and disturbed. The insult was not to me but to every person of 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,” Dhankhar stated on the sidelines of a programme here.
This is an unusual kind of censorship, he said. “I was sitting there for four long hours but was completely blacked out. How can you censor me after inviting me? Someone called me to say the incident was reminiscent of the Emergency period. “I was pained so much that that it took me three days to come out of the shock,” he maintained.
Accusing Dhankar of “trying to make an issue out of a non-issue”, senior TMC leader Tapas Roy said, “Why is he commenting on the matter after a week? He is just publicity hungry. He is acting in a manner which does not befit a governor,” Roy said.
TMC secretary general and state parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said governor should focus on his duties. Reacting to TMC’s reaction later, Dhankhar told PTI that his comments were not sudden and had told the chief minister on the day of carnival that there are several points on which he would react after some time.
“On that very day, I had the told chief minister about the brilliant performances and had told her that there are critical angles on which I would react after some time. It took me some time to get over the distress over being insulted, then I had reacted today,” he said.The West Bengal Congress and BJP also expressed concern over "the constitutional head being insulted".
Over 70 prominent community pujas put up a dazzling show on Friday at Red Road, projecting an array of themes ad artwork on colourful tableaux during the annual carnival.
The fourth edition of the event, the brainchild of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was attended by her ministerial colleagues, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, officials of different consulates among other dignitaries.