As former West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has a clear sight to become the nation's next Vice President, his elevation has sparked a big question - Who will be the next Governor of West Bengal? The country is prominent about the feud between Mamata Banerjee and Dhankhar as the duo had held a war of words daily and Banerjee had locked horns with the Centre to withdraw Dhankhar from the post.
However, Dhankhar's role as Governor was more of a personal battle with Mamata and their soaring relationship wrote a history of how annoying the office of the Governor was for the states ruled by the opposition. Their relationship had sparked a public outcry against the Governor's conduct of crossing the line in a state that has an elected government. On the other hand, the BJP had watered Dhankhar's tenure to go tough against Mamata Banerjee's regime.
Both Mamata and Dhankhar had held a battle and Dhankhar's voice came out of Raj Bhavan at most times whenever BJP faces a setback in the state. Dhankhar had slammed Mamata for the weak law and order and we can hardly point out any Chief Minister in recent times than Mamata who protested against the Governor's authoritarianism. Mamata had a breather recently after several years when the Centre ruling BJP announced Dhankhar as its candidate for Vice President.
After the candidacy for the top post, Dhankhar resigned from the post of West Bengal Governor following which La Ganesan, who is the Governor of Manipur, was given the additional charge as the Governor of West Bengal. The Vice Presidential poll is underway in Delhi and Jagdeep Dhankhar would have a comfortable victory over the opposition candidate Margaret Alva as BJP has a good majority in the Parliament as the MPs of both the Houses constitute the electoral college to elect the Vice President.
As Dhankar would be elected to serve the nation's second highest office, all eyes are on West Bengal on who would be the next full-time Governor of the state. According to reports, BJP has decided to appoint someone who would take on Dhankhar's legacy in West Bengal. Though Dhankhar is brought to Delhi, the ruling BJP is preparing a list of his successors who would keep the fire against Mamata's government.
On Friday, one day ahead of the Vice President polls, Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the latter's residence and during this key meeting, Mamata requested a 'friendly governor' from the Centre. She has asked the Prime Minister to send someone who would not be a troublemaker for her government. Her request has come at a high time when her government has been facing multiple cases of corruption and political crisis.
The reports say that the Centre-ruling BJP doesn't want to ease its grip on the Mamata Banerjee regime and the names of former Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Ravi Shankar Prasad are on the card along with the sitting Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. In the midst of such names, the BJP is strongly considering the name of Rakesh Asthana, the former Police Commissioner of Delhi. As Asthana is a tough man, he has come to the front of the race for the West Bengal Governor.
Notably, retired IPS officer Asthana was the CBI's Additional Director when the agency was probing the cases against the Mamata Banerjee government and he was also the chief of BSF (Border Security Force) and he is well aware of the security issues at the state border. These factors make Asthana a right fit for the job and if appointed, Mamata would welcome the new and even more tough Governor.
Asthana has retired as the Delhi Police Commissioner last month and as he was directly reporting to Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his tenure, Asthana could become the next Governor of West Bengal and the state would welcome its new head who would keep the Governor-Chief Minister feudatory intact with Mamata Banerjee.