Hitting back after several leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress accused him of overstepping his jurisdiction, West Bengal Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi said the state government should stop throwing mud at the office of the Governor. Lashing out at the ruling party leaders, he said, “They should look at their faces in the mirror and clean the dirt from their faces.”
The reaction came a day after Trinamool leaders and MPs targeted the Governor for writing to the divisional commissioner of Malda district, expressing his wish to hold an administrative meeting to oversee development work and law and order situation. Trinamool leaders dubbed this move unconstitutional.
Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a programme at a university in Diamond Harbour, the Governor said, “Should I say? It will be a strong statement. They should stop throwing mud at the office of the Governor. Now, please stop mudslinging, targeting the office of the Governor.”
He advised the state government to introspect. “They should go to the washroom, look at their faces in the mirror and remove the dirt from their faces,” he said.
Responding to Tripathi’s statement, Bengal Municipal Affairs & Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said it is unfortunate that the Governor is speaking like a political leader. “He is speaking of dirt on our faces. I want to ask what he has to say about the people who are trying to dictate what people will eat and what they won’t. Who will wipe out this dirt?” he told reporters.
TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said, “Age is a factor. He is a senior citizen. He says a lot of things. I don’t want to comment on that.”
On Wednesday, Chatterjee had told reporters, “By sending a letter to the Malda district administration through his secretary, the Governor has gone beyond his jurisdiction as prescribed in the Constitution. He bypassed the chief minister’s office. His act goes against the Constitution and he has flouted it. By overstepping his constitutional duty as prescribed in Article 153 of Constitution, he has not only acted as spokesperson of the central government, but also as a spokesperson of the ruling party at the Centre.”
Party MPs Derek O’ Brien and Dinesh Trivedi, too, had protested against the Governor’s move. “We respect the Constitution, but the Governor cannot be the super chief minister,” Trivedi said on Tuesday.