West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday said that Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi and Director General of Police Manoj Malaviya skipping two scheduled meetings with him in three days was a “constitutional lapse”.
Mr Dhankhar’s statement came after the two top officials of the state did not attend a meeting called by him earlier in the day to know details on why Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP was allegedly stopped by the police from visiting Netai in Jhargram district on January 7 to attend a programme despite a Calcutta High Court order that there shouldn’t be any restriction on his movement.
“CS @MamataOfficial DGP @WBPolice ‘boycott’ WB Guv meeting (Re:LOP @SuvenduWB Netai visit) for second time in 3 days – actionable incondonable constitutional lapse by top officials @IASassociation @IPS_Association bearing out observation @India_NHRC in WB ‘Law of Ruler not of Law’,” Mr Dhankhar tweeted.
He alleged that the two officials have not only “damaged the reputation of top services” but also violated the “essence of democracy” by defying his repeated calls for a meeting.
“CS @MamataOfficial DGP @WBPolice conduct aggravated by lack of response and habitual defiance of directives from Guv. Rather than ‘uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and democratic values’ these officials @IASassociation @IPS_Association have violated essence of democracy,” he said in another Twitter post.
Mr Dhankhar said that he would ensure that the chief secretary and the DGP “get into constitutional groove”.
“Constitutionally ordained ‘to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law’ would now ensure that CS @MamataOfficial DGP @WBPolice get into constitutional groove. These officials @IASassociation @IPS_Association have spinally damaged the reputation of top services,” he added.
Mr Dhankhar had on January 8 called the chief secretary and DGP for an update on Adhikari allegedly being stopped by the police from attending a programme in Netai in Jhargram district.
The governor, whose move was prompted by a complaint by Adhikari to Raj Bhavan regarding the incident, had also sought a written report from the two officials.
Mr Dhankar had on January 9 urged an additional chief secretary and an official next to the DGP to meet him with details of the incident after the chief secretary and DGP communicated that they were in isolation on account of COVID-19.
After receiving a forwarded report of Jhargram Superintendent of Police on the incident, the governor had on Tuesday said that he expected a “fully updated and written report”, alleging his directives were disregarded.
The LOP had claimed that he was stopped by the police from going to Netai in Jhargram despite the Calcutta High Court order that there should be no restrictions on his movement.
After he was allegedly prevented from going to Netai, Adhikari went to neighbouring Bhimpur and paid respects to nine people who were killed by CPI (M) activists on January 7, 2011.