Kesari Nath Tripathi, who took oath as the new Governor of West Bengal on Thursday, was all praise for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“I think the CM is competent enough to deal with any state matter,” he said, speaking to reporters soon after the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Kolkata.
Tripathi vowed to work in tandem with the state and the Centre. “I will coordinate with the Centre while I work with the state. I will ensure the welfare of the state,” he said, adding that in case of any tussle between the two governments, he will try to reach a solution through “mutual talks”.
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At 1.30 pm, amidst festivities, Tripathi was sworn in by Justice A K Banerjee of Calcutta High Court as the Bengal’s 21st Governor in the Independent India. Justice Banerjee read out the President’s warrant of appointment.
At the ceremony were present state cabinet ministers including Amit Mitra, Partha Chatterjee, Mukul Roy, Bratya Basu, Firhad Hakim, Madan Mitra, Sovandeb Chatterjee along with Mamata.
After the ceremony, the ministers sat together for tea and exchanged greetings. The CM could be seen interacting with the new Governor and his family members, while later complying to requests for photographs. Mamata, however, refrained from speaking to media persons.
“I will not talk today. It is his (Tripathi’s) day. The Governor will speak. Go and have some refreshments first,” she told the reporters.
The Throne Room at the Governor House was packed to capacity with guests, among whom were around 200 BJP workers from Allahabad who had come as invitees. “We have been very close to him (Tripathi) and his family for a long time. He is a gentleman in the true sense of the word. We have never seen him lose his cool,” one Jyoti Purvar said.
State BJP president Rahul Sinha, who, too, was present, congratulated the Governor after the ceremony, and sought to put the Bengal’s future political scenario in perspective. “In the future, only TMC and BJP would remain in the state while other parties would be rendered irrelevant.” Sinha spoke of the new Governor – “a senior advocate who has held many high posts” – as someone who has “always held his cool” and whose appointment will benefit the people of Bengal.
No representative of Congress or the Left were present at the occasion.