West Bengal Governor asks Mamata Banerjee to retract “Jihad against BJP” remark   

In a statement released on Wednesday, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee retract her statement that the Trinamool Congress will commemorate July 21 as “a day of jihad against the BJP.”

Following a complaint from the state BJP, Jagdeep Dhankhar wrote to the chief minister on Wednesday night.

“A 10-member BJP delegation led by Hon’ble Leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari, in a representation, enclosed hereto, has sought constitutional intervention for your June 28 Asansol statement ‘Declaring 21 July, 2022 as “A day of ‘jihad” against the BJP’,” the West Bengal Governor said in his letter.

“The statement, revealed in the video, is most unfortunate and indicates constitutional anarchy. It defies logic and reason as to how one under the Oath of Constitution and holding the position of Chief Minister could make such pernicious declaration of `jihad’ against a political party. This is death-knell of democracy and rule of law. Nothing can be more authoritarian and undemocratic,” Dhankar further wrote.

Dhankhar urged Mamata to withdraw the statement. “I cannot but take strongest possible exception to your statement. To subserve democratic values and constitutionalism, you are urged to forthwith withdraw this most unconstitutional declaration of ‘jihad’ against the BJP on 21 July, 2022,” the West Bengal Governor wrote.

The TMC marks July 21 as Martyrs’ Day each year in honour of the 13 members of the Youth Congress who were purportedly killed by police at a rally on that day in 1993, when Mamata Banerjee was a member of the Congress and the Left Front led by the CPI(M) was in power in the state.