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Mamata-governor face-off intensifies, Trinamool writes to President, Rajnath

The governor spoke to the chief minister in a tone that suggested she works under him, alleged Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee.

kolkata Updated: Jul 05, 2017 11:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Chief Minister,Mamata Banerjee,Governor
The outburst of chief minister Mamata Banerjee against governor Keshari Nath Tripathi is unprecedented in recent times in Bengal. (HT Photo)

Trinamool Congress has written to President Pranab Mukherjee and sent a copy of the letter to Union home minister Rajnath Singh protesting the way Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi spoke to chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday and hauled her up over the law and order situation in certain parts of North 24 Parganas district.

The unseemly spat between the two camps continued on Wednesday with a free flow of rhetoric from ruling Trinamool Congress leaders. Party secretary general Partha Chatterjee emphasising that the governor overstepped his Constitutional role and acted like a BJP representative.

Read: The governor humiliated me, he spoke like a BJP block president: Mamata Banerjee

“The governor has humiliated not only the chief minister, but also the people of the state by speaking to her in the manner he did. He overstepped his limits and behaved like a BJP representative,” alleged Chatterjee on Wednesday.

The governor’s office retorted saying that the governor is within his rights to raise these matters with the chief minister. The statement has also claimed that there was nothing offensive in the conversation. (HT Photo)

“At 4:30 pm on Tuesday, we wrote to the President outlining what happened and protesting his behaviour. We have also sent a copy of the letter to Union home minister Rajnath Singh,” added Chatterjee. Though there were differences of opinion between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the governor on a few issues such as post poll violence in 2016, the current confrontation in unprecedented in recent times in Bengal.

“We have seen that Raj Bhavan is encouraging those who are trying to foment trouble. He cannot do that,” Chatterjee fumed.

The Trinamool secretary general continued in the same tenor and tone that Mamata Banerjee displayed during her outburst at the press conference on Tuesday.

“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. The governor called her to speak on the communal flare-up in North 24 Parganas where a number of shops, houses and police vehicles were set on fire my a Muslim mob following a blasphemous Facebook post by a Hindu school student.

Read: Nothing in conversation for Mamata Banerjee to feel threatened or humiliated: West Bengal Raj Bhavan

Soon after the chief minister’s outburst, the governor’s office sent out a strongly worded statement that asserted Tripathi did not say anything objectionable to her. “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.

A police vehicle torched outside Baduria police station in North 24 Parganas district on Monday night. (HT Photo)

“Why should we keep the telephonic conversation between the chief minister and the governor a secret? The governor is telephoning the chief minister after speaking to BJP representatives. We have also gone to him with a lot of complaints. He has never taken up those issues,” remarked Chatterjee on Wednesday.

He also alleged that Tripathi did not support the state’s request to the Centre to dispatch additional para military forces in Darjeeling.

Read: West Bengal Governor urges Mamata to stop post-poll violence

On Tuesday in a TV show, the senior most minister in Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet, Subrata Mukherjee, dared the governor to topple the state government.

“We want to remind the governor that Raj Bhavan cannot become a refuge for BJP workers. He is well conversant in law. Doesn’t he know the limits?” asked Chatterjee on Wednesday.

“I have known three governors as an Opposition leader. They never displayed such behaviour,” Chatterjee added.

First Published: Jul 05, 2017 11:15 IST