Kolkata: The Trinamoool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday launched a fresh attack on West Bengal Governor KN Tripathi, accusing him of “crossing” all constitutional limits and reminding him that the Raj Bhavan “could not be the party office of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)”.
The party’s criticism of the governor comes a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused Tripathi of threatening her and acting like a “BJP block president”. The party supreme said she even thought of quitting office over this “humiliation”.
TMC Secretary General Partha Chatterjee charged, “The governor has crossed the constitutional line. The way he spoke to the chief minister on Tuesday, he has forgotten that it is not Uttar Pradesh.” Chatterjee also said that the official residence of the governor could not be the party office of the BJP.
“He is the ex-speaker of the Uttar Pradesh assembly. As a lawyer he must be aware of the observation of the Supreme Court (on the relation) between the chief minister and the governor… So whatever he has said is an insult to the people of West Bengal,” he charged.
The unprecedented spat between the chief minister and the governor came as communal clashes broke out in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on the night of July 4 following an “objectionable” Facebook post. The government rushed in 400 BSF troopers to assist the local administration in controlling the situation.
Chatterjee said that the party has already written to President Pranab Mukherjee stating that “this is unbecoming of a governor”. A copy of the letter to the president was forwarded to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, he said.
Referring to the governor’s statement on Tuesday asking how confidential talks came out in the open, Chatterjee said, “You (Tripathi) telephoned the chief minister only after a team of BJP leaders met you at Raj Bhavan”.
A Raj Bhavan statement had on Tuesday said that the talks between the governor and chief minister “were confidential in nature and none is expected to disclose it”. To a question on whether the TMC was demanding the governor’s removal, Chatterjee said, “If the governor does not express regret for the way he had spoken to the chief minister, we will have to take the tough stand.”
Alleging that the governor had asked the chief minister to manage her party, he remarked, “This is unprecedented. How can he ask her to manage her party members. Has he become the BJP spokesperson? He is the constitutional head”.