Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s appeasement policy is adversely affecting social harmony in the state, outgoing Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi said in an interview to PTI. Reacting to his statement, Trinamool Congress said the Governor is trying to make BJP happy.
However, speaking to media persons on the sidelines of an event in Kolkata on Saturday evening, Tripathi said he was misinterpreted.
“That is misinterpretation of what I have said. I have always spoken about restoring law and order. Why should anyone be embarrassed to talk about real situation. I have also praised her. She has vision,” said Tripathi.
He will be replaced by Jagdeep Dhankar, who will be sworn in as the new Bengal Governor on July 30.
A controversy erupted after Tripathi told PTI, “Her policy of appeasement has the effect of adversely affecting societal harmony. I think she should look at every citizen equally. I believe that every citizen of West Bengal should be dealt with equally without discrimination. Discrimination is apparent and her statements show it.”
Tripathi, who had earlier engaged in a war of words with the CM on various issues, said Banerjee should show restraint on her emotions.
“CM Mamata Banerjee has got vision, she has power to implement her decisions, but she should be restrained also. She becomes sentimental on occasions, so she has to keep a control on it,” said Tripathi in the interview.
Meanwhile Trinamool Congress reacted sharply to his statements and said it is aimed at making BJP happy.
“Generally I do not make an adverse comment on the statement made by the Governor. As long as he was here as the Governor I do not think there was any difference of opinion. Sometimes he said something or gave us advice. But he never told us that law and order has broken down or there is an appeasement policy. It is to be seen that why he is saying such things now. This will not add to the honour of his position. We used to say that Raj Bhawan has become BJP party office. It seems we were right. He is saying this to make BJP happy,” said Partha Chatterjee, state education minister and secretary general of TMC.
Both CPIM and Congress supported his statement, but questioned the timing.
“His tenure is over now. We believe that what is said is partially true. We believe that a competitive communal politics is going on in Bengal. Banerjee through her appeasement policies is making way for BJP to bring in communal politics in Bengal. This had never happened earlier and BJP could not get political space,” said senior CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty.
Congress too questioned the timing of his statement, and said the Governor should have acted strongly against it.]
Former Congress state president Pradip Bhattacharya said, “If he had spoken earlier or gave a strict message to the state government, it would have been better. We did not see him taking any strong step or even opposing the state government.”
“The Governor is absolutely right. He had been highlighting the issue when there were riots in Bashirhat and Asansol. The government and the CM targeted him on different occasions. He honoured his post and alerted he government on a number of occasions,” said Rahul Sinha, BJP national secretary.
Tripathi had a face-off with Banerjee when he criticised the manner in which law and order was handled during the riots in Bashirhat-Baduria in 2017. He was also criticised by a section of ruling party members when he visited the Asansol riot-affected areas in 2018. He was also slammed by the CM for exaggerating figures of victims of post-poll violence when he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah last month.