Taking a tough stance, West Bengal Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi on Wednesday said the statement issued against him by a state minister is an “attempt to cover the lapses” of the government and “divert attention from the main issue of law and order”.
In a press release, the Governor advised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her ministerial colleagues to “direct their attention to maintain peace and law and order in the state without making any distinction on the basis of caste, creed or community”, instead of making accusations against him.
The Raj Bhavan press release also termed as “baseless” the Chief Minister’s allegations against Tripathi, and said these amounted to “insulting and humiliating the Governor and his office”.
The Raj Bhavan said the Governor was aware of his constitutional obligations and needed no lesson from anyone on the subject.
“The Governor has been apprised of the statement of Partha Chatterjee, Education Minister, and regrets to say that this is an attempt to cover the lapses of the state government and divert the attention from the main issue of law and order.
“The Governor is fully aware of his constitutional obligations and limitations and needs no lesson from anyone on this count,” it said.
On Banerjee and her ministers’ contention that the Chief Minister was democratically elected while the Governor was only nominated, the Raj Bhavan said: “It should not be forgotten that the Governor is also appointed by the President on the recommendation of a democratically elected Union Government.”
“In fact, the allegations of the Chief Minister amount to insulting and humiliating the Governor and his Office.”
Countering Chatterjee’s allegation that the Raj Bhavan had become a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) den, the release said: “The Governor is of the view that Raj Bhavan is not a department of the state government and it is open to every citizen to approach him for redressal of his or her grievances.
“It is wrong to say that Raj Bhavan has become the office of the BJP or the RSS (Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh).”
The Governor also reiterated that he did not utter a single word to “insult or threaten” the Chief Minister.
On the accusations that Tripathi called up the Chief Minister after meeting representatives of the BJP, the release said that Raj Bhavan was not expected to “tear off or throw in the wastepaper basket” the representations received by the Governor or his office from any person.
“Whenever any such representation is received from anyone, the same is forwarded to the State Government for appropriate action.
“The Governor says that instead of making accusations against him, it is better for the Chief Minister and her colleagues to direct their attention to maintain peace and law and order in the state without making any distinction on the basis of caste, creed or community.”