West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blocked governor Jagdeep Dhankhar from her Twitter account on Monday, a day after he said the state had become “a gas chamber for democracy”, in signs that ties between the two leaders neared a point of no return following years of acrimony.
“I apologise for it in advance. He (Jagdeep Dhankhar) tweets something every day abusing me or my officers. Says unconstitutional, unethical things. He instructs not advises. Treats an elected government like bonded labour. That’s why I have blocked him from my Twitter account. I was getting irritated,” Mamata Banerjee said at a news conference.
Ms Banerjee also said that the governor has threatened the Chief Secretary and the police chief on several occasions.
She said she has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi several times, seeking the removal of Mr Dhankhar but no action has been taken so far.
Mamata Banerjee’s move, which would mean the governor’s posts will no longer show up on her Twitter feed, appeared to have been prompted by Mr Dhankhar’s latest attack on her government at an event to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary.
“I cannot see the hallowed land of Bengal getting blood drenched (in violence) and becoming a laboratory for trampling of human rights. People are saying that the state is turning into a gas chamber of democracy,” he had said.
“There is no rule of law in Bengal. Only the ruler rules here. It is my responsibility to protect the Constitution,” he said, adding that no amount of “insults” will deter him from performing his “duties”.
The governor, a former leader of the opposition BJP who has been permanently at odds with Ms Banerjee since his appointment in 2019, recently accused the Chief Minister and the Speaker of the assembly of breaching constitutional norms by not providing him information he had sought on multiple matters.
Throughout his tenure, he has had run-ins with the government over appointments of vice chancellors of universities, calling bureaucrats to his office for explanations.
Last week, the governor, after paying floral tributes at the statue of BR Ambedkar on the assembly premises, had described the political condition in Bengal as “horrible and frightening”.