‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, suffering from amnesia’: Why Amit Mitra and West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar are trading barbs on Twitter

The latest spat is over the the state’s business summits with the governor questioning their purpose

File photo of West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. PTI

Here’s another chapter to add to the long list of spats that Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and West Bengal government have been involved in.

This time the row is between the governor and Amit Mitra, the principal chief adviser to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

As barbs are traded on Twitter, here’s what has happened and what triggered this latest spat.

Dhankhar vs Amit Mitra

On Tuesday, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had called upon the Mamata Banerjee government to come out with a white paper on Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) with details of investments attracted by the state through those programmes.

Dhankhar expressed concern at the lack of response from then state finance minister Amit Mitra, saying he had sought the information on the actual investments that West Bengal had received as a result of five editions of BGBS for a year.

His comment on Twitter came as the state government announced that they were preparing to hold another edition of BGBS in April 2022, after a hiatus of two years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Call upon @MamataOfficial to come out with a WHITE PAPER #BGBS so that information is available in transparent and accountable manner,” Dhankhar tweeted.

In his Twitter post, he added that that the rule of law, respect for human rights and democratic values are imperative for investments.

It seems these comments didn’t go down too well with Amit Mitra, who is now the principal chief adviser to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Responding to Dhankhar’s tweet, Mitra shared a letter he had previously written to the governor on the business summit and added, “Governor is now suffering in disease of Amnesia.”

Mitra also said in his tweet, “It is shocking that he seeks response when I had officially responded with a 4 page letter on Summits, giving data on investment offers UNDER IMPLEMENTATION, EMPLOYMENT generation etc, (read letter below).Is he suffering from AMNESIA & needs HELP or is it a Machiavellian omission?”

Mitra also compared Dhankhar to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous 1886 novel.

He wrote, “Hon Governor’s tweet on Business Summits is a classic case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. On 9th Nov he strongly supported CM’s plan of next Summit “I will leave nothing undone..”&”togetherness”& within 24 hours he tweets venom on Summits,by putting out a year old letter to CM & FM.”

Refusing to let the issue die there, the West Bengal governor retorted to Amit Mitra, saying it was not expected.

“Never expected such “low” from Dr Mitra. Blissfully he takes to tangential evasive route. Where is response to the five issues flagged by me. A probe would reveal all skeletons so far well stacked,” he wrote on the social media platform.

The state’s top constitutional authority further flagged the issues he had and sought answers from the Banerjee-led government.

The Bengal Global Business Summit

The Mamata Banerjee administration has been organising BGBS since 2015 to attract investments to the state.

According to Mitra’s letter, the state had received proposals worth Rs 12,32,603 crore from multiple editions of the Bengal Global Business Summit from 2015 to 2019. He also wrote in the letter that the multiple editors had generated 28 lakh jobs.

The last business summit was held in February 2019.

During that edition, Banerjee had announced that it would be a biennial affair.

Dhankhar vs Mamata

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government in the state have been on the warpath since he assumed office.

He has been at loggerheads with the Trinamool Congress government in the state soon after taking up office in July end over a number of issues and had taken to expressing his views a number of times over Twitter.

The situation worsened after the Assembly election when Mamata wrote three letters to the prime minister and president, requesting that Dhankhar be removed from West Bengal.

After Banerjee won the state Assembly polls, Dhankhar highlighted the issue of poll violence.

Banerjee had taken to Twitter and expressed her ‘sadness’ over his decision to take to Twitter frequently and urged the governor to cooperate with it to maintain peace in the state.

With inputs from agencies



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