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With “Caste” Explanation, Bengal Governor Fends Off Trinamool Charge

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With 'Caste' Explanation, Bengal Governor Fends Off Trinamool Charge

Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the Trinamool frequently exchange barbs on Twitter (File)

Kolkata:

Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra and Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar have picked up where they left off Sunday night – with Ms Moitra needling him over his “job description” and six members of his “family” having been appointed as Officers on Special Duty (OSD) to his office.

The latest round – in a long-running feud in which Mr Dhankhar frequently cites “constitutional responsibility” in his criticism of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – was fired by Ms Moitra.

The Lok Sabha MP attached an open letter from a senior Supreme Court advocate who urged the governor to refrain from “a barrage of assaults” on a duly elected government.

“Uncleji – try and read this too – may remind you of what your job description actually is…” her tweet read. However, shortly afterwards that tweet was deleted.

Minutes earlier she had responded to his tweet about the six OSD appointments.

“Asking Uncleji to lay out right here what antecedents of the appointees are and how each one got into Raj Bhavan. Do it NOW. BJP IT Cell can’t get you out of this one Uncleji… And I don’t think Vice President of India also happening for you,” she said.

The swipe at the OSD appointments was widely seen as a reference to the tug-of-war over Alapan Bandyopadhyay – the former Bengal Chief Secretary who resigned (and was appointed Special Advisor to the Chief Minister) after being summoned by the centre.

Mr Dhankhar had hit back this morning after a caustic Sunday night tweet by Ms Moitra suggesting the “grim situation” in the state would only improve if he would “move your sorry self… and the extended family you’ve settled at Raj Bhavan (the Governor’s official residence)… back to Delhi”.

“Assertion by Mahua Moitra in tweet and media that six coterminous appointee OSDs in personal staff are relatives is FACTUALLY WRONG. OSDs are from three states and belong to four different castes. None of them is part of close family. Four of them are not from my caste or state,” he said.

“This is unfolding of ‘distraction strategy’ to divert attention from alarming law and order scenario… Would continue undeterred and with zeal to serve the people of state and vindicate my oath of office under Article 159 of the Constitution,” he added.

Mr Dhankhar – who frequently exchanges Twitter attacks with Chief Minister Banerjee – has tweeted videos – in which she is tagged – alleging unchecked “post-poll retributive violence”.

A fresh flashpoint emerged last month, after a row between Chief Minister Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a review meeting to assess damage caused by Cyclone Yaas; Mr Dhankhar accused Ms Banerjee of egotistical behaviour and the Trinamool slammed the “unfortunate” comment.

The Trinamool won the April-May election after sweeping aside a BJP that invested time and money into a vitriolic campaign to unseat Ms Banerjee and come to power in Bengal for the first time.

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