Wading into a fresh row with the West Bengal government, Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Sunday said the advertisement published by the TMC government announcing that it would not implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the new law on citizenship was “unconstitutional” and asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to withdraw it, arguing that government can’t use public money for such campaigns.
“How can an elected head of a government use public money to give advertisement in national media that there will be no NRC, no CAB in the state? This advertisement is unconstitutional. As the Constitutional head of the state, I had very gracefully invited her (CM) attention. I had urged her (to) withdraw it. I am sure you all will agree that public money can’t be used to lead an agitation against the law of the land,” Dhankhar told mediapersons at a press conference at Raj Bhavan on Sunday evening.
“I am sure the Chief Minister will at least withdraw the advertisement, which state that the Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC will not be implemented in the state. These are unconstitutional. It is a criminal use of public funds,” he added.
Describing the law and order situation in the state “unimaginable”, the Governor said that public property is being damaged in a “wanton manner, ruthlessly and recklessly, and fear has been put in the minds of people belonging to a certain section of the society”.
Dhankhar further appealed to the state government to get only in the administrative mode. “If she thinks that she needs assistance from any quarters, then she should indicate. The greatest worry to me is that fear is injected in a section of society, particularly in Malda, Murshidabad and Nadia. This our Constitution doesn’t allow. The government must immediately take note of it and act very fast,” he added.
He also appealed to political parties not to take political mileage out of the situation. “It is no occasion to play politics or look for political gains. I appeal to the people of the state to do everything they can do to lend a helping hand to someone in distress and maintain peace,” Dhankar added.
The Governor has been at loggerheads with the Mamata Banerjee government over several issues. Protests over the amended citizenship law continued to rock various parts of the state for the third consecutive day.