Kolkata: In an unprecedented move, Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee accused Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi of threatening and insulting her over a phone conversation on Tuesday, on reports of violence due to communal clashes at Basirhat in North 24 Parganas.
Exploding in fury at the state secretariat, Nabanna, she said, “The Governor called on my phone and threatened me. He also insulted me. I never felt so humiliated in my life. I was so deeply hurt that I thought I would quit my post. The Governor was talking like a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Block president. He cannot threaten me.”
Banerjee said, “His post is constitutional. A Governor is appointed by the Centre while the CM is elected by people of the state. I made it clear to him that he cannot talk to me in that tone. I have not become the chief minister with his blessings. We are neither thieves, nor dacoits.”
Banerjee was surprised over a Governor questioning her government’s ability to tackle the law and order situation. She also slammed the BJP and refused to take any questions from journalists.
However, the Raj Bhavan in a statement rubbished Banerjee’s allegations.
The Raj Bhavan said in a statement, “The Hon’ble Governor is surprised at the attitude and language used by the Hon’ble Chief Minister during the Press conference on Tuesday. The talks between the Hon’ble Chief Minister and the Hon’ble Governor were confidential in nature and none are expected to disclose it.”
“However, there was nothing insulting in the talks that the Hon’ble Chief Minister may have felt insulted, threatened or humiliated. The Hon’ble Governor did say to the Hon’ble Chief Minister to ensure peace, law and order by all means. The Hon’ble Governor always holds the people, who occupy the Constitutional positions, in high esteem.”
The statement read, “The Hon’ble Governor, being the Head of the State, is the guardian of all the citizens of the State and not of any particular party or section of society. It is proper for the Hon’ble Governor to bring to notice of the Hon’ble Chief Minister any serious grievance made by any member of public or any serious event happening in the State. The Hon’ble Governor cannot remain a mute spectator of the affairs in the State.”
A delegation of BJP and RSS leaders visited Tripathi at Raj Bhavan at around 2.30 pm. They showed him some photographs of the violence-hit areas and sought his intervention. At around 3.30 pm the Governor called up the chief minister on her mobile who was holding a meeting on the development of Kalighat Temple with some of her cabinet ministers at Nabanna then, sources disclosed.
Banerjee left the meeting and attended the Governor’s call, sources revealed, adding that their conversation however turned bitter as he wanted to know about the situation at Basirhat from her.