Kolkata: Hours after Trinamool Congress Parliamentarian Mahua Moitra accused Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar of ‘extensive nepotism’ inside the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata and dares him to sue her, the Governor denied all charges calling it “factually incorrect”.
Replying to BJP state general secretary Sayantan Basu’s allegations that the Moitra had furnished a ‘pack of lies’, Moitra countered, “Why is BJP rising to his defence? Is he a BJP functionary or a Governor? Can’t he defend himself?”
A document was shared by the 46-year-old Krishnanagar MP on Sunday and claimed that Abbhudoy Singh Sekhawat, Governor’s OSD, is his brother-in-law’s son. Akhil Chowdhury, who is the OSD coordination, has some close family relationship with the Governor. OSD administration Ruchi Dubey is the wife of Major Gorang Diksit, ex-ADC (aides-de-camp) to the Governor, while the Major’s brother Prasant Diksit is the OSD (protocol). OSD IT Koustav S Valikar is the brother-in-law of Dhankhar’s present ADC Srikant Janardan Rao, IPS. And Kishan Dhankhar, a newly appointed OSD of the Governor, is also his close relative, Moitra’s document was quoted by news agency IANS.
Moitra challenged Dhankar to take drag to court over her remarks and tweets regarding the issue. “I dare him to sue me for defamation,” Moitra said.
“We in Bengal are not parochial, but someone who gets a job here should be worth it. He or she should not get it just because they have a saffron uncle here to do their bidding,” Maitra was quoted as saying by the agency.
According to her, Bengal taxpayers should not be asked to pay the bill for the OSDs appointed by Governor Dhankar at the Raj Bhavan.
“Having failed to deliver Bengal to the BJP, Uncleji (Dhankar) must seek out a job in Delhi. He is running around raising hell over the state’s law and order, so BJP should rehabilitate him somewhere, she said, quipping: “Don’t forget to take your extended family with you.”
Moitra also ridiculed the leaders of the saffron party “who have the temerity to castigate Bengal voters for rejecting the saffron brigade”.
“You guys have the audacity to question a popular verdict, you think Bengalis don’t know what is good for them,” Moitra said.
“We did not question Indian voters when they elected BJP to power. It is for us to judge whether the BJP government has totally failed or not. We rest our case with voters and hope they see the obvious and vote in future elections,” she went on.
Dhankar, meanwhile, rubbished the allegations levelled by Moitra.
“Assertion @MahuaMoitra in tweet & 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,” Jagdeep Dhankhar said via a tweet.
Dhankhar also claimed that Moitra’s accusations as part of TMC’s “distraction strategy” to divert attention from the “law and order scenario” in West Bengal. “This is unfolding of ‘distraction strategy’ to divert attention from alarming law and order scenario,” he said.
“Would continue undeterred and with zeal to serve the people of the state and vindicate my oath of office under Article 159 of the Constitution,” the Governor added.