Unleashing the most scathing attack against West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, Trinamool Congress (TMC) Lok Sabha member Mahua Moitra on Sunday alleged that the former has employed three of his own relatives and two relatives of a former aides-de-camp (EDC) and one relative of his present EDC as officers on special duty (OSD) at Raj Bhawan, Kolkata. She tweeted a list of six OSDs.
Bringing charges of favouritism unheard of in recent history, Moitra, while reacting to Dhankhar’s tweets on alleged post-assembly poll violence in the state, said in back-to-back tweets that the situation in Bengal will improve if the governor leaves with his “extended family”.
In Moitra’s tweet, the list claimed that Abbhudoy Singh Sekhawat, the governor’s OSD, is Dhankhar’s “brother-in-law’s son,” Akhil Chowdhury, the OSD coordination, has “close family relation with governor,” OSD administration Ruchi Dubey is “the wife of Major Gorang Diksit, ex-ADC to governor” and the Major’s “brother” Prasant Diksit is the OSD protocol. OSD IT (information technology) Koustav S Valikar is the “brother-in-law” of Dhankhar’s present ADC Srikant Janardan Rao, IPS, the tweet claimed. Kishan Dhankhar, the newly appointed OSD, is “a close relative of governor”, the list indicated.
Dhankhar assumed charge on July 30, 2019. The acrimonious relationship between the governor and the TMC government has been in the news since September that year. Although TMC leaders have time and again accused Dhankhar of being “an agent” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and charged him with partisan behaviour, nobody made such serious allegations as Moitra did on Sunday.
Moitra tweeted the list shortly after Dhankhar accused the administration of inaction in the post-poll scenario and asked the chief secretary to meet him on Monday to discuss political violence.
“Extremely alarming law & order scenario @MamataOfficial. Security environment is seriously compromised. In such a grim situation called upon Chief Secretary to brief me on the law and order situation on Monday 7th June and indicate all steps taken to contain post poll violence,” Dhankhar wrote in one of his tweets.
Addressing the governor as “Uncle Ji,” Moitra wrote, “Only way West Bengal’s grim situation will improve is if you move your sorry self back to Delhi and find another job. Some suggestions: 1. Advisor to Ajay Bisht Yogi CM on how best to ThokDo opposition. 2. Advisor to Home Minister on how best to hide during a pandemic.”
Posting the list, Moitra wrote, “And Uncle Ji while you are at it take the extended family you have settled in at WB Raj Bhawan with you.”
Raj Bhawan did not react to Moitra’s tweets till 8 pm.
Talking to a news channel, Moitra said, “Don’t people have the democratic right to ask him these questions? He has brought his entire village and clan to Raj Bhawan. Government money is being spent to sustain them. I think it would be best if he leaves Bengal.”
Bengal BJP vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar said, “This is hitting someone below the belt.”
Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh, who defended Raj Bhawan on earlier occasions, said, “TMC is saying these because it has run out of issues. I do not know about these (appointments). We cannot say anything.”