After maintaining silence over his removal from a three-member committee formed to monitor compliance of Covid-19 restrictions at Gangasagar Mela, opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari on Wednesday called the move the TMC’s “fear factor” and said the ruling party in West Bengal was “scared” of him.
Addressing the media on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at the ancestral house of the monk, Adhikari, said, “I have nothing to say in this matter because it was decided by the (Calcutta) High Court. But it is also true that the objection was raised by the state government and not by the court. Initially, the court has appointed me and it means that they didn’t have any problem with my appointment. Actually, the ruling party is scared of me and that is why they have raised an objection before the High Court.”
Hitting out at chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Adhikari said, “I respect this order from the High Court, but I would like to tell Mamata Banerjee that appointments of information commissioner, lokayukta, chairperson of human rights commission are pending because she along made the decision and did not take the leader of the opposition into confidence. As per our Constitution, she cannot make such appointments alone.”
On Banerjee’s standoff with the Centre over sharing credits for different development projects, he said, “In Tamil Nadu, there is a non-BJP government but they have invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate 10 hospitals today (Wednesday). It is unfortunate that Bengal doesn’t follow this courtesy despite 50 per cent funding from the central government for development projects.”
Adhikari’s statement (on state government criticising the Centre) came after Banerjee, on January 7, took PM Modi head on at an inaugural function of the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in Kolkata. She claimed that the building had already been inaugurated by her during the second wave of Covid-19.
Commenting on Adhikari’s remark, TMC MP Saugata Roy, said, “It is a fact that the state government objected to his appointment, but the final decision was made by the court. We felt that the court has taken the right decision by not appointing a political person in the committee. The court has appointed those who have knowledge of the judiciary to monitor Covid-19 compliance at Gangasagar. We welcome the court’s decision.”
On Tuesday, the Calcutta High Court dropped Adhikari’s name from a three-member committee formed on January 7 to monitor compliance of Covid-19 restrictions at Gangasagar Mela.
The division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Kesang Doma Bhutia has instead reconstituted it to a two-member committee comprising former Justice Samapti Chatterjee and the member secretary of the West Bengal Legal Services Authority.