The West Bengal government sat on a helicopter request made by Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar, a release from Raj Bhawan said on Thursday, following which the Governor had to take a 600-km road trip on Friday. Governor Jagdeep Dhankar attended the Silver Jubilee celebrations of Prof. S.N.H College, Farakka Barrage in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. The invite was extended to the Governor by the principal of the Prof. S.N.H College.
“About 600 kms of the journey on the same day is being taken by the Governor Dhankar as the request for the helicopter made to the State Government well in time has not found so far favourable consideration. As per the direction, the issue of the helicopter has been flagged to the state Chief Secretary for his response which is awaited,” said a release issued from the Raj Bhawan on Thursday.
While speaking at the silver jubilee celebrations of Prof. S.N.H College at Farakka Barrage on Friday, Jagdeep Dhankar called the state's response to be 'disheartening'. "Don't want to blow this topic out of proportion. It can definitely happen that chopper couldn't have been provided. Maybe, but the reason stated behind not being able to provide it was disheartening", said the Governor on Friday.
Ever since the request for a helicopter cropped up, a political war of words escalated between Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party. Bengal Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya hit out at the Governor for his request for a helicopter. "Why does he need to go if he is unwell and make the journey. Want to know why he needs a helicopter ride? He is not well within his constitutional rights to call for administrative meets as well. He hasn't been able to get out of his advocate mode and give advises to his clients. He was an eminent lawyer but isn't being able to get out of his erstwhile work", said Chandrima Bhattacharya on Friday.
While BJP MP and Bengal President Dilip Ghosh blasted Mamata Banerjee for not accepting Raj Bhawan's request for a helicopter, it was also said that the TMC wants the Governor to sit at Raj Bhawan and do nothing. "Nothing is being given to the Governor. Governor wants to work, meet people and that is causing problems for TMC", said the BJP MP. Thursday's press release from Raj Bhawan claimed that a similar communication was sent to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.