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  India   All India  06 Jul 2017  Rajnath steps in as Mamata-Governor spat intensifies

Rajnath steps in as Mamata-Governor spat intensifies

Published : Jul 6, 2017, 2:42 am IST
Updated : Jul 6, 2017, 2:43 am IST

Maintain decorum, Union home minister urges both.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Photo: PTI)
 Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi/Kolkata: While the situation continued to be tense and more clashes were reported from riot-hit Baduria in West Bengal’s North 24-Parganas district, the war of words between the Trinamul Congress and governor K.N. Tripathi intensified instead of abating.

Home minister Rajnath Singh had to step in to remind both, the governor and state chief minister Mamata Banerjee, to maintain “decorum.”

In separate telephonic conversations with the chief minister and the governor, Mr Singh also cautioned them not to make public statement about official business and to resolve the issue amicably. He asked them to focus on improving the law and order situation in the violence-hit district and to submit a report spelling out the steps taken to restore normalcy in the affected areas.

On Wednesday, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee fired the first salvo in Kolkata. “The governor has crossed the constitutional line,” he said, referring to Ms Banerjee’s accusation that the governor had insulted her.

Raj Bhavan retaliated with a press statement in the evening, its second on the issue in 24 hours, where the governor was quoted as saying that the allegations made against him by the chief minister “amount to insulting and humiliating the governor and his office.”

Accusing the chief minister of trying to cover the government’s lapses and divert attention from the real issue, Mr Tripathi said, “Mamata Banerjee’s allegations against me are baseless, they are meant only to emotionally blackmail the people of West Bengal.”

On Tuesday, after accusing the governor of “behaving like a BJP block president”, Trinamul Congress had written to President Pranab Mukherjee, protesting the way Bengal governor spoke with Ms Banerjee. A copy of the letter was also sent to Mr Singh.

In his statement on Wednesday, the governor said that “instead of making accusations against him, it is better for the chief minister and her colleagues to direct their attention to maintain peace and law and order in the state without making any distinction on the basis of caste, creed or community.”

Further, responding to Ms Banerjee’s accusation that he was “interfering” in the state’s law and order, the governor said, “True that the chief minister has been democratically elected by the people, but it should not be forgotten that the governor is also appointed by the President on the recommendation of a democratically elected Union government.”

“Raj Bhavan is not expected to tear off or throw in the wastepaper basket the representations received by the governor or his office from any person. Whenever any such representation is received from anyone, the same is forwarded to the state government for appropriate action,” the statement added.

Earlier in the day, Mr Chatterjee, while speaking to the media in Kolkata, lashed out at the governor saying, “The governor has crossed the constitutional line. The way he spoke to the chief minister yesterday, he has forgotten that this is not Uttar Pradesh… He is the ex-Speaker of the UP Assembly. As a lawyer he must be aware of the observation of the Supreme Court on the relation between the chief minister and the governor.”

“The governor is fully aware of his constitutional obligations and limitations and needs no lesson from anyone on this count,” read the press statement issued from Raj Bhavan.

Tags: rajnath singh, mamata banerjee, k.n. tripathi
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi