Monday, 18 Nov, 8.54 pm Hindusthan Samachar

Bengal govt once again denied Governor a helicopter ride

Kolkata, 18 November (HS):The raging controversy and war of words between Governor Jagdeep Dhankar and the West Bengal government once again took a fresh turn today after the state authorities categorically declined the request from the Governor for using the government helicopter to travel to Domkal in Mushidabad district,about 350 km from here, on 20 November to attend an educational programme.

Responding to an official request from the office of the Governor at Raj Bhavan, the state government in a communique here today said since the copter was not available now,the same could not be provided to the Governor for his proposed trip to Domkal on next Wednesday(20 November).

Though no immediate reactions either from the Governor or from his office was available following the flat rejection of the government,the political pundits here feel that once again the issues relating to 'copter politics' would come on to the surface soon setting off yet another possible political confrontation between the two separate wings of the administration.

It is also not yet known whether the Governor would once again decide to travel by road to Domkal as a mark of protest to perform his constitutional duty as the head of the state.

It may be recalled that only on last Friday(15 November), Governor Dhankar and his wife had to travel about 600 km on both ways by road to attend a similar educational programme at Farakka,also in Murshidabad district, following the non availability of government helicopter on flimsy ground.

Though the condition of road was fairly good on the National Highway where we had a smooth ride, we had to pass through several bumpy roads on the state highways at different places', he later said and questioned the authority of the state government for not providing him the copter on an official tour.

The issue,however,took an ugly turn when both the state Education minister Partha Chatterjee and Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya raised the issue asking whether the Governor was entitled to travel by helicopter in such an insignificant programme,after the Chief minister herself described the Governor as the agent of BJP.

Even the Trinamool Congress Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay raised the issue before the Prime minister and repotedly requested him and the Union Home minister to advise the Governor not to be so pro-active in performing his constitutional duties in the state.

Hindusthan Samachar- Ankur Bhattacharya

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