Peeved CM says take action against anyone provoking communal tension

Peeved CM says take action against anyone provoking communal tension

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took a swipe at Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar by reprimanding a police officer during an administrative meeting on Thursday.

The Chief Minister asked East Midnapore Superintendent of Police Amarnath K whether there was any political pressure that was preventing him from discharging his duties properly. She also directed him to take stern action — without considering political colours — against anyone if found to provoke communal tension or cause riots.

Banerjee also asked the SP whether he was "scared to work" in that district and advised the police officer "not to pay heed to instructions from others. Just carry out his duties diligently". At the state administrative review meeting, the Chief Minister asked him whether Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had been instructing him. "Remember that those who create riots are neither Hindus nor Muslims, Sikhs nor Ishais (Christians). Few political leaders instigate riots. You have to handle such things strictly. Are you scared of working there? Does the Governor call you asking you not to do this or that," she said.

Continuing with her remonstrations, Banerjee said: "Remember, you are working for the state government and you do not have to listen to others. I have got complaints from Haldia and two persons had to be arrested as they were creating problems for the industries. Why do I need to intervene when you people are here? If you think you are facing problems working there due to political pressure, tell me directly, but do not listen to others instructing you to do this and do that."

Banerjee's alluding to the conspiracy angle in East Midnapore assumes significance as it had once been the stronghold of the Adhikari family that had switched over to the BJP before the Assembly elections last year.

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has been critical of the law and order situation in the state and Banerjee has accused him of tapping phones and threatening her offices on several occasions. She has blocked the Governor from her Twitter account since January 31.

Banerjee issued a stern message to bureaucrats against negligence and the tendency to pass on their work to juniors. "Some senior officials pass on their work to junior officers, who in turn submit reports without checking the actual facts. Several complaints to the Chief Minister's Grievance Cell have revealed this. Such lacunae and negligence will not be tolerated," she said, adding that the DMs and SPs should give priority to the Chief Minister's Grievance Cell.

She was visibly unhappy particularly over the performance of West Burdwan district in the construction of rural roads and implementation of government schemes.

In a significant stride towards earning revenue for the state, Banerjee announced on Thursday that the state Transport department will acquire all the truck terminals functioning along the border by February 7.

She instructed her administration to cut down on unnecessary expenditure beyond the approved budget and not to take any new project without the approval of the state Chief Secretary or the Finance department. Banerjee also asked the police and the Health department to expedite the processes of filling up vacancies.

Banerjee announced that the Durga Puja Carnival will be observed in a grand manner at Red Road this year. The Carnival could not be held in the last two years due to Covid. She asked the Tourism department to invite all diplomats to the event.

She also directed all the Durga Puja committees across the state to celebrate the UNESCO heritage tag to West Bengal's Durga Puja by blowing conch shells at 1 pm on September 1.

"In Kolkata, all committees will gather at Shyambazar and take out a colourful rally to mark the beginning of the celebration of Durga Puja starting from October 1 (Shasthi). There should be a logo to commemorate the occasion," Banerjee added.

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