Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday (June 28) called Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar a 'corrupt man' and questioned the purpose of his recent tour of North Bengal, alleging that a conspiracy was being hatched to divide the northern part of the state. The Bengal Chief Minister alleged that Dhankar was named in 1996 Hawala Jain case that implicated several leading politicians.
"He is a corrupt man. He was named in the chargesheet in the 1996 Hawala Jain case. Why has the central government allowed a governor like this to continue?" she told reporters at the state secretariat, without elaborating. The Bengal CM also labelled Dhankhar's visit to North Bengal was a political stunt as he only met MLAs and MPs of the BJP. "Why did he suddenly tour North Bengal? I can sense a conspiracy to divide North Bengal," Mamata alleged.
The Trinamool Congress supremo also said she has written multiple letters to the Centre for the removal of Dhankhar. "As per the Constitution, I will continue to meet him, talk to him. And follow all the courtesies... But, the union government should act based on my letters," she said.
Meanwhile, rejecting Mamata's allegations on Hawala Jain case, Governor Dhankhar accused her of spreading 'lies and misinformation'. He described Mamata's accusations against him as a 'knee-jerk reaction' to his raising questions over the contents of the speech he is supposed to read out at the start of the upcoming assembly session.
"The allegations levelled by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee don't have an iota of truth. It is unfortunate that she is spreading misinformation and misinterpreting facts. It doesn't suit a chief minister to make such allegations," he told reporters. "She should name the charge-sheet in which I was named. I was never named in any of the charge-sheets in the Jain Hawala Case," he said while referring to Mamata as her 'younger sister'.
Jain Hawala Case was a huge politial and financial scandal in the 1990s in which money routed through hawala channels was claimed to have been given to top politicians across various parties. Those named included L K Advani, V C Shukla, Sharad Yadav and many more. However, the charges against them didn't stand legal scrutiny and the case fell through.
Dhankhar, who shares a strained relationship with the Bengal government, said he was handed over in the afternoon the governor's speech to be read out in the assembly.
"Just 10 minutes before her press conference, I received a call from her. I put forward some questions regarding the governor's speech. She said she has nothing to do (with the speech) as the cabinet had passed it. It seems her comment at the press conference was a knee-jerk reaction," he said.