Bengal governor named, Amit Shah and Mamata Banerjee speak
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee spoke for the first time with Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday, the conversation revolving around the appointment of Jagdeep Dhankar as the new governor of Bengal.
“Shah had first called her this morning but she couldn’t receive the call…. Later, she called him back from her cellphone and spoke for around a minute and a half,” said a source.
By then Mamata had tweeted: “I welcome Sri Jagdip Dhankar who has been appointed as the new Governor of Bengal. I just now came to know from media about this. I welcome him to our beautiful state.”
Around 20 minutes later, the chief minister tweeted again: “Hon’ble Home Minister just now talked to me about appointment of new Governor of West Bengal. I informed him that I have already welcomed the new Governor.”
Through the first tweet, Mamata has subtly suggested that she was not briefed or consulted on the appointment before it was announced.
A senior bureaucrat said that although it was not binding on the Centre to discuss the appointment of the governor with the state government, a formal or informal communication before the announcement had been a convention for years. The term of the current governor, Keshari Nath Tripathi, ends in four days.
The understated tone of Mamata’s first tweet has served the purpose of drawing the attention of the people to an implied communication vacuum without sounding acrimonious.
Unlike in the past, Mamata, who has always tried to champion the cause of federalism, did not make it an issue although she and Shah have had a history of bitter exchanges.