Asserting that West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi was behaving like a spokesperson of the BJP, Trinamool Congress on Wednesday reminded him of his constitutional limits and asked him not to “instigate people who are trying to create unrest in the state”.
The reaction from the party came after the Governor called up Banerjee on Tuesday following communal clashes in parts of North 24 Parganas. Banerjee had alleged that Tripathi had threatened and insulted her and accused him of speaking like a “BJP block president”.
TMC Secretary General Partha Chatterjee Wednesday said the party has apprised President Pranab Mukherjee about yesterday’s development. He also observed that Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the West Bengal Governor, should not turn into a BJP party office.
“Governor himself is telling us to control your party. Is he a spokesperson of BJP? How can he say such things when he is the constitutional head of the state? He is crossing his constitutional boundaries and saying such things. He is also an advocate. He should know where to draw the line. As former Leader of the Opposition and as a state minister I personally know three Governors. But I never expected such kind of behaviour from a Governor. The tone he has used against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while speaking to her yesterday seemed as if Banerjee works under the Governor. We want to remind him that Raj Bhawan cannot be the party office of BJP. We strongly condemn the way he threatened and insulted Banerjee yesterday,” Chatterjee said.
Informing that the party had brought the matter to President Pranab Mukherjee’s notice, the TMC leader said, “Yesterday, we apprised President Pranab Mukherjee about the development through a letter and a copy of that as sent to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. We have observed that Raj Bhavan in instigating a section of the people who are trying to create unrest in the state. Instead of stopping communal flare ups in West Bengal; the Governor is doing the opposite.”
Criticising Tripathi for asking why Banerjee had made the telephonic conversation between him and her public, Chatterjee said, “He said that telephonic conversation between him and Banerjee should not have been made public. Why should we not do that? He called her after meeting BJP representatives at Raj Bhawan. We had also met him on several occasions earlier and had asked the Central government for monetary help. The governor did nothing and never took our side. He is behaving like a party cadre. They are trying to create unrest in West Bengal. But Trinamool Congress will foil all such attempts. If you attack Mamata Banerjee then our party will not keep quiet.”
He added, “If he does not regret what he has said then we will take strong measures against him.”
Chatterjee also said that the Governor was not making any effort to bring the situation under control and did not lend his support to the demand of the state government to deploy central forces in the state. “Whenever we made an appeal to the Central government asking for the deployment of central forces, the Centre never extended its support. It did not send additional forces in Darjeeling. Even yesterday, Banerjee asked the Governor to look at the deployment of forces in the troubled areas. But he delayed the entire process. We had asked for forces at around 4 30 pm but BSF was posted in the area after 7 pm,” he said.
Chatterjee also made an appeal to the people of both communities to restore peace in Basirhat area which witnessed violcen. “We do not support the acts of both communities. We want the people of the state to live in peace and harmony,” he said.
TMC MP and Spokesperson Derek O’Brien said, “Governor of Tripura, a UP minister, Sanghi journos from Delhi, assorted bhakts all spreading bile. Won’t work. We will protect Bengal.” Meanwhile, the Centre has sought a report on Basirhat violence from the Mamata Banerjee government.