Further escalating the row with West Bengal Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, the ruling Trinamool Congress on Wednesday accused him of behaving like a “BJP cadre” and alleged that Raj Bhavan was “inciting and helping” those trying to engineer riots in various parts of the state for the sake of power.
Going hammer and tongs at Tripathi, Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee warned him that his party would not remain silent if Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was attacked.
Chatterjee said as leader of the opposition in the past and now as a state minister, he has seen three Governors from close range. “I never expected such behaviour from the Governor. The tone in which the Governor has spoken to the Chief Minister, it is as if she is her subordinate employee.
“Is the governor the spokesman of the BJP? He is a lawyer. Doesn’t he know the Supreme Court mandates rules about his power?… We condemn strongly the tone and tenor of the words he used while speaking to the Chief Minister, and threatened her. He caused her immense pain.”
Chatterjee, also the state Education Minister, said his party has written to President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue. A copy of the letter was also given to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
“The Trinamool and the Trinamool legislative party want to remind the Governor that Raj Bhavan cannot be a BJP den.”
The minister also ridiculed the Raj Bhavan statement that the conversation between the Governor and the Chief Minister should not have been brought into the open.
“Instead of helping stop the clashes, he is saying publicly that the telephonic conversation should not have been made public. After speaking to BJP representatives, he called her up. We have also given lot of representations to him, on issues like financial grant from the centre, but he never opened his mouth,” he said.
“Raj Bhavan is inciting and helping those people who are trying to engineer riots at various parts of the state for the sake of power. He is behaving like a BJP cadre. The BJP is trying to create lawlessness.”
“If Mamata Banerjee is attacked, Trinamool Congress will not remain silent,” he added.
The row started on Tuesday, when the Governor and the Chief Minister had heated exchanges during a telephonic conversation related to the communal violence in North 24 Parganas district’s Baduria. Soon after, Banerjee launched a blistering attack on Tripathi, accusing him of threatening and insulting her. The Raj Bhavan responded by issuing a press release denying the charges and expressed surprise at Banerjee’s “attitude and language”.