West Bengal Governor C. V. Ananda Bose on May 8 said he would not remain silent if there was a constitutional crisis in the State.
“If there is a constitutional or legal crisis, I will not remain silent like Hamlet,” Mr. Bose said at a function at the ancestral residence of Rabindranath Tagore at Jorasanko in north Kolkata.
Though the Governor has made similar comments that he will not be mute witness to law and order deterioration in the State in the past, the remarks during the day come in the wake of spike in political violence in the State. Three BJP supporters were killed between April 27 and May 2 and during the day a Trinamool Congress supporter was shot at Amdanga in North 24 Parganas. Basanti in South 24 Parganas district has also been on the boil over the past 24 hours as clashes between two factions of the Trinamool Congress erupted. Four Trinamool supporters were injured in the violence.
Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari had on numerous occasions said the Governor Bose had not been proactive on issues relating to law and order like his predecessors Jagdeep Dhankhar and Gopal Krishna Gandhi. The Governor had played a proactive role during Ram Navami clashes and visited violence-hit Rishra in Hooghly district. The remarks also come hours before Union Home Minister Amit Shah was likely to arrive in West Bengal.
Responding to the remarks by the Governor, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the chair of the Governor was a “respectable chair” but it has its limitations.
Ms. Banerjee asked the Governor to return the Bills passed by the Assembly on replacing the Governor with the Chief Minister as Chancellor of the State universities.
The West Bengal Assembly in 2022 had passed a number of Bills replacing the Governor as the Chancellor with the Chief Minister. Raj Bhavan had not given consent to the Bills and also not returned them to the State government.
The Chief Minister and the Trinamool Congress government had earlier given hints that its decision to replace the Governor as Chancellor of State universities was a thing of the past soon after Mr. Bose assumed the high office. During the day, Ms. Banerjee said the arrangement where the Governor is the Chancellor of State universities works when there are fewer State universities; such institutions have increased from 12 to 42 under the Trinamool Congress regime.
After a brief period of bonhomie, differences between the State government and the Raj Bhavan have surfaced on several issues, including a letter to Vice-Chancellors of all State-run universities asking them to submit weekly reports to the Raj Bhavan. The State government had asked the Governor to withdraw the letter.