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'Governor spoke on Kashmir but mum on Bengal'

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday criticised Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar for taking up abolition of Article 370 in Kashmir and other issues relating to the Centre while attending the special session in the Assembly organised to commemorate Constitution day.

"The Governor spoke about Kashmir but did not utter a word on Bengal. How many times will he publicly say that he had invited me to the programme hosted at the Governor House on the same occasion? I have written three letters to him expressing my inability to attend the programme. I told him that I have attended various programmes at Governor House in the past. I unequivocally said that I have some problems. One can have problems," Banerjee said in her apparent reply to the Governor when he mentioned about his invitation.

"Governor is a nominated post while Chief Minister is an elected post. The state government is an elected body. We have worked with many Governors in the past. We never had a quarrel with anybody. Who is responsible for what

happened today? Many stalwarts have delivered their speeches in the special session but nobody advocated for any political party. I know who have sent him," the Chief Minister said, taking a dig at the Governor.

Both the Chief Minister and the Governor attended the special Assembly session but didn't exchange any pleasantries and made indirect digs at each other in their speeches.

It may be mentioned that the Governor and the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool government have been at loggerheads in recent past.

Earlier this month, the Governor had alleged that he was denied a helicopter by the government as he wanted to travel to Farakka in Murshidabad district.

The Chief Minister on Tuesday cleared air on the issue, saying: "One day he said that the government had denied him helicopter. He must have understood that we have no helicopters. We seek them during emergency. A Central team visited the state that day."

Meanwhile, in his speech on Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee said without naming anyone: "We have seen in recent times how certain Governors have been trying to run parallel administration."

His comment came ahead of the scheduled speech of Dhankhar. Instances of Governors running parallel administration were also touched upon by the former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Jyotirmay Bhattacharya.

Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister paid a floral tribute to the statue of B R Ambedkar, along with former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, former Bengal Governor M K Narayanan, former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Jyotirmay Bhattacharya, Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee and leader of Opposition in the Assembly Abdul Mannan.

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