Guv threatened me: Mamata

Violence in Basirhat leads to Governor-CM face-off Centre rushes 300 paramilitary personnel to North 24 Parganas
Report by: 
4 Jul 2017

A few stray violent incidents at Basirhat in North 24 Parganas that started on Monday and continued today and that had a communal tinge but which, however,  remained totally in control of the administration so far, ultimately brought out severe strains in the relations between chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Kesri nath Tripathy with the chief minister, reacting to a phone call by the Governor about the incidents there,  dubbing the Governor a mere `block president' of the BJP.

Mamata also said she had never been so much insulted and humiliated by the governor and she even thought of quitting her post as CM. What triggered Mamata's belligerence was a phone call from the Governor in which he allegedly told the chief minister to handle the situation at Basirhat with firm hand. Tripathy made the call after a delegation of BJP met him at Raj Bhavan and apprised him of the situation at Basirhat and showed him pictures of the incidents there. “The way he spoke to me over the phone was so humiliating and insulting. He threatened me. In fact I never felt insulted so much in my political career and at one time I thought of putting in my papers. I am not here at his mercy. We are not his servants.  People of the state have elected me. He is nominated by the Centre. Like me he also holds a constitutional post. He should respect his gubernatorial post and should not hold anybody’s brief. He cannot disregard other constitutional posts. He was speaking at the behest of one particular party,'' the chief minister said.

The Governor hit back saying what he said was not at all aimed at insulting the chief minister. ``I have not said anything that could hurt the chief minister. As Governor I cannot remain a mute spectator at this kind of situation.  In fact I have been cut to the quick the way she behaved and the language she used. The chief minister has done a severe wrong by bringing the conversation between the governor and the CM out in public,'' the Governor said in a statement. 
Various political parties reacted to the face-off between the two persons holding top constitutional posts of the state.` `Why should the chief minister take exception to a call by the Governor. As constitutional head he can always call the CM for details of some serious incident?'' Dilip Ghosh, state BJP president said.
State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury however said both the persons should keep mutual respect. ``Both the people should respect each other and none should do or say anything that becomes humiliating to the other,'' Chaudhury said. Communal violence broke out in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal over an objectionable post on Facebook by a young boy, a resident of Rudrapur at Baduria. While a few houses and shops were burnt, rallies of armed people were taken out. Shops and markets remained closed at Basirhat town and adjoining places. The Centre rushed 300 paramilitary personnel today to assist the state police in maintaining law and order.

In New Delhi the BJP today alleged that over 2000 Muslims attacked Hindu families in the area  and its offices at several places were set on fire. Accusing the state police of failing to control the situation, party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is also in charge of the state, urged Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to intervene in the matter.
Vijayvargiya blamed Muslims for the violence in his letter to Singh. "More than 2000 Muslims attacked Hindu families. Bombs went off at many places and information of Hindu sisters and daughters being raped have also been received. Local workers (of BJP) have said many facilities including five BJP offices were set on fire," he wrote.

As the troubled spot is adjacent to Bangladesh, there is a possibility that "outsiders" were involved in this violence, he said.