West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar, known for a stormy relationship with the state government, on Saturday praised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to call on the army for help in restoring essential infrastructure and services devastated by Cyclone Amphan.
“A good move @MamataOfficial to seek support and assistance of Army. These are trying time and appeal to people to keep calm. Authorities must restore connectivity, electricity and other services at the earliest,” he wrote on Twitter.
Mr Dhankar has been less combative since large parts of the state were devastated by Amphan, one of the worst storms to have formed over the Bay of Bengal in recent years.
Earlier, he posted three tweets that did not attack the Trinamool Congress government – a rare move for the former BJP leader.
“Wholesome development @MamataOfficial during visit @narendramodi. Cooperative mode and not confrontational stance was perceptible. A positive development for the State and its people. Statesmanship was reflected @PMOIndia while asserting all assistance will be provided to WB,” he wrote in the first tweet on Friday.
Though laced with criticism, a follow-up tweet also seemed conciliatory. “Cooperative stance @MamataOfficial -a ray of hope that augurs well for State. Confrontational approach has no place in our Constitution. This has already cost our farmers of Seven Thousand Crores by non adoption of PM-KISAN, stressed our health system by avoiding Ayushman Bharat,” he wrote.
And a third one later said:
Am hopeful this would continue @MamataOfficial and the results all around will benefit the people of the state who are stressed due to Covid-19 and Amphan.
— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) May 23, 2020
Since his appointment last year, Mr Dhankar has been at odds with the state government on many issues ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to accusations of being sidelined in TV coverage of last year’s Durga Puja celebrations.
The state government, in turn, has accused him of interfering in its work and sending derogatory missives to the Chief Minister.
The 69-year-old leader had accompanied Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on an aerial survey of the cyclone-hit areas of West Bengal on Friday.
Cyclone Amphan, which struck the state on Wednesday evening, has claimed 86 lives and unleashed massive destruction in at least 14 districts, mainly in South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, North 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur.