The governor humiliated me, he spoke like a BJP block president: Mamata Banerjee
Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi telephoned the chief minister and hauled her up for the communal violence in various parts of Basirhat subdivision of North 24 Parganas district.kolkata Updated: Jul 16, 2017 07:10 IST
In an unprecedented outburst, chief minister Mamata Banerjee launched a scathing attack on Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Tuesday, saying she has never faced more humiliation than she did during a telephone call with him during which Tripathi hauled her up for the communal flare-up in different areas of North 24 Parganas district.
“The governor telephoned me and said certain objectionable things. He spoke like a block president of BJP. He always takes one side. I have made it clear to him that he cannot speak to me in that manner. He cannot threaten me,” a visibly furious Mamata Banerjee said at the state secretariat on Tuesday evening.
Tripathi, 83, has been the governor of West Bengal since July 2014.
Though Trinamool Congress ministers have alleged partisan behaviour on the part of the governor in the past, never did the chief minister lash out at him publicly in the manner she did on Tuesday.
There was no comment on the chief minister’s outburst from the Raj Bhavan till Tuesday evening.
Mamata Banerjee revealed that Tripathi called her to speak on the communal violence in Baduria and adjoining areas in North 24 Parganas district, where Muslim mobs went on a rampage setting fire to shops, houses and torching police vehicles.
“I felt humiliated in the way the governor spoke. His has a Constitutional post and so have I. I don’t owe my position to his munificence. He should remember he was nominated by the Centre, but I’ve been elected to this chair,” Banerjee fumed.
“He acts proactively whenever BJP leaders submit memorandums to him over small affairs... But he cannot lecture me on law and order situation,” Banerjee said.
“The Hon’ble Governor is surprised at the attitude and language used by the Hon’ble Chief Minister during the Press conference today. The talks between the Hon’ble Chief Minister and the Hon’ble Governor were confidential in nature and none is expected to disclose it,” said a statement issued by the governor’s office.
“There was nothing in the talks for which the Hon’ble Chief Minister may have felt insulted, threatened or humiliated.... It is proper for the Hon’ble Governor to bring to the notice of the Hon’ble Chief Minister any serious grievance made by any member of public or any serious event happening in the State. The Hon’ble Governor cannot remain a mute spectator of the affairs in the State,” the statement read.
However, the chief minister herself expressed concerns over the law and orders situation and said she could not sleep last night.
“We stayed awake whole night,” she revealed.
Mamata Banerjee also said that she could not have asked the police to open fire as it could have led to the loss of lives. “The plan was to pacify agitators and that was why it took time. I admit the police could have done better but our priority was to ensure no life is lost,” she said.
She threatened those involved in the violence with strict action.
“Those who with their acts of vandalism gave the governor the opportunity to insult me will not be spared. I will make them pay from their own pockets for the damage of property. Those who have set police vehicles ablaze will be taught lessons,” said Banerjee.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said, “The governor can certainly interfere if there are repeated incidents of violence”.
We demand an all-party meeting an army deployment. The debate on phone call is unwarranted,” twitted CPI(M) state secretary Suryakanta Mishra.
The car of the additional police super of the district was also attacked on Tuesday.