Following consistent pressure from the BJP-led central government, West Bengal Governor, M K Narayanan appears to have made up his mind to quit Raj Bhavan, months ahead of his scheduled departure in January next year. He is likely to send in his resignation early next week, sources in Raj Bhavan said. “His belongings are being packed. He is most likely to send in his resignation early next week,’’ a source said.
A dinner hosted by the Governor on Saturday in honour of eminent educationist, Dr Karan Singh, who came to Kolkata for attending a meeting of Indian Museum, appeared to be his farewell dinner. Top brass of the state administration, including Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Minister for Education Bratya Basu, Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra, Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee, DGP G M P Reddy, attended the event.
Answering queries on whether he was planning to put in his papers, Narayanan had Saturday said: “I will let you know when I resign”. Vice Chancellors of various universities are also calling on him. Bratya Basu will once again make a courtesy call on Monday and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to visit in a couple of days.
The Governor, who earlier said it was for the Centre to decide whether he should continue, seemed to have been rattled by the visit of a CBI team at Raj Bhavan last Friday.
The team recorded Narayanan’s statement as a “witness” in connection with its probe into allegations of bribery in the Rs 3600-crore VVIP chopper deal with AgustaWestland. The deal had taken place during Narayanan’s tenure as National Security Adviser. The move has been seen as putting pressure on Narayanan because no Governor has been ever quizzed by the CBI while in office. Over the development, Siddharth Nath Singh, BJP general observer for West Bengal, told Indian Express, “We made our stand earlier. As of now he is still there, so we can not make any fresh comment.”
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