Over the past three months, the common sight of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in West Bengal marching towards the Raj Bhavan to take up their grievances with the Governor has become less frequent. Earlier, former Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar would acknowledge their demands and voice them during his interactions with mediapersons.
Since Mr. Dhankhar was elected as the Vice-President in August and Manipur Governor La. Ganesan was given additional charge of West Bengal, the BJP leaders feel that the Raj Bhavan has not been prompt in taking up their concerns. The bonhomie between Mr. Ganesan and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is also a cause for concern for a section of party leaders. Earlier this month, Ms. Banerjee had visited Chennai and participated in a family event of Mr. Ganesan, indicating that the frequent tussle between the Raj Bhavan and the Secretariat was now a thing of the past.
On November 14, dozens of BJP legislators had marched to the Raj Bhavan holding placards with the photograph of President Droupadi Murmu, seeking action against State Minister Akhil Giri who had allegedly made disparaging remarks against her. However, Mr. Ganesan was not present at his official residence. Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, who had led the march, said he had not come to sip tea with officials and submitted a memorandum signed by 36 party MLAs demanding action against the Minister.
‘Demand, not appeal’
“This is a demand, not an appeal. Since the Chief Minister has not acted against him [Mr. Giri], there is enough scope in the Constitution for the Governor to advise the Chief Minister to sack the Minister. Whether he is in Delhi, Imphal or Chennai, how he does it is his matter,” Mr. Adhikari told mediapersons outside Raj Bhavan.
Till Thursday evening, Mr. Ganesan was not available in Kolkata and no meeting has taken place with the BJP leaders. The party’s State-wide protests seeking Mr. Giri’s resignation have also stopped.
Several party leaders are not reluctant to admit that they miss Mr. Dhankhar. Agnimitra Paul, BJP MLA from Asansol Dakshin who took part in the march, said Mr. Dhankhar was like an “ abhibhavak (guardian)” and the BJP leaders miss him.
Glimmer of hope
However, their woes could come to an end soon with a communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday announcing that C.V. Ananda Bose has been appointed as the new Governor of West Bengal.