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Pranab to send Karat letter on Narayanan stand to Centre

Bringing into focus the larger question of the extent to which a governor can cross the line of political neutrality,President Pranab Mukherjee

Written by Swaraj Thapa | New Delhi | April 16, 2013 2:59:36 am

Bringing into focus the larger question of the extent to which a governor can cross the line of political neutrality,President Pranab Mukherjee is set to refer to the government CPM leader Prakash Karat’s complaint against West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan.

Top sources in the government indicated that Mukherjee may take up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh informally,although a formal communication will be sent to the union home ministry seeking its view on the issue. The home ministry deals with matters relating to governors.

Rashtrapati Bhawan is expected to seek the government’s advice on the extent to which a governor can make political interventions that can be perceived as helping a political party.

In a departure from the norm,Narayanan had targeted the CPM last week,after Left activists gheraoed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and heckled her Finance Minister Amit Mitra outside Planning Commission’s office in Delhi.

“Those responsible for the attack and their instigators have forfeited their right to function within a democratic framework,” he had said,and demanded a “public apology by the CPM politburo”.

In his complaint to the President,Karat had said Narayanan’s “political interventions” did not behove the post of governor. “One can understand the governor condemning the incident. But Narayanan has gone much beyond that,” Karat had said.

UPA sources said on Monday that while the role of governors has come under criticism over the years,this was probably the first time that a governor had himself demanded an apology from a political party.

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