15:31 GMT24 July 2021
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    West Bengal state chief Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar have been at loggerheads over a range of issues since the latter assumed office in 2019. Banerjee has described him as a mouthpiece for the Bharatiya Janata Party, while Dhankhar has denied the claims.

    Launching fresh attacks on the constitutional head of the state on Monday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the state's Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar a "corrupt man" and questioned the purpose of his visit to North Bengal.

    While interacting with the media at the state secretariat, she said, “He is a corrupt man. He was named in the chargesheet in the 1996 Hawala Jain case. Why has the central government allowed a governor like this to continue?"

    The Hawala scandal, also known as the Jain Diaries case, was an Indian political and financial scandal involving payments (illicit wealth) allegedly sent by politicians through four hawala brokers, namely the Jain brothers. It was an $18 million bribery scandal that implicated some of the country's leading politicians.

    Mamata Banerjee also accused the governor of instigating division within society.

    "Why did he suddenly tour North Bengal? I can sense a conspiracy to divide North Bengal", Mamata alleged.

    West Bengal's state chief, who was recently sworn in as state chief for a third time in a row, has written multiple letters to the Narendra Modi government calling for the removal of Dhankhar.

    "As per the Constitution, I will continue to meet him, talk to him. And follow all the courtesies... But, the union government (Modi government) should act based on my letters", she said.

    There have been several incidents of conflicts between Dhankhar and Banerjee, which have included trivial issues like Dhankhar’s seating arrangement at a Durga Puja (Hindu festival) carnival and a gate meant for the governor’s entry being locked at the state assembly.

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