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Avoid comments on Guv-Mamata govt verbal spat: BJP to WB unit

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Kolkata: The West Bengal BJP unit has been asked by its central leadership to refrain from getting into the frequent verbal spats between the state government and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, a senior party leader said.

There is a general perception that the governor and the saffron party "complement" each other through their statements, he said.

A verbal directive in this regard has been communicated to the state leadership from the top echelons of the party, the senior BJP leader said.

"We have been asked by our central leadership to refrain from commenting on the war of words between the state government and the governor. Henceforth, none of our state leaders will make any comment on the verbal spat," he said.

According to party sources, the move is aimed to allay charges that the BJP is using the governor to "pinprick" the state government.

"Whenever there has been a verbal spat between the state government and Raj Bhawan, for obvious reasons, we have spoken in favour of the governor, be it the present governor Jagdeep Dhankhar or his predecessor K N Tripathi," he said.

The tussle between Dhankhar and the TMC government reached Parliament on Monday when its Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy raised the issue of the governor "exceeding his brief and trying to run a parallel administration" in the state.

"There has been an impression that the governor and the BJP are complementing each other through their statements.

This is sending out a wrong message. We have been asked to refrain from commenting on the issue henceforth," another senior state BJP leader said.

The TMC Parliamentary Party, led by MP Sudip Bandopadhyay, had on Sunday raised the matter of the governor running a "parallel administration" with Home Minister Amit Shah.

Dhankhar has been locked in a war of words with the state government over a number of issues -- ranging from seating at the Durga Puja carnival to his unscheduled visit to Singur.

A fresh war of words had erupted over the state government's refusal to provide a helicopter sought by Dhankhar to travel to Murshidabad for a programme on Friday.

The governor maintained that he has been acting as per the Constitution and will continue to do so. "If someone wants me to be a tourist here, I will not be one," he asserted.

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