Will cooperate with Bengal govt on what it does, not whatever it does: WB Governor


West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose has said that he will always cooperate with the state government but that support may not extend to “whatever it does”.
In an exclusive interview with PTI on Monday, Bose made it clear that in a democracy, while the front face of a state is the chief minister and not the nominated governor, each has to stay within the constitutional provisions of their respective ‘Lakshman Rekha’ (a boundary that should not be crossed).
“The chief minister is the esteemed constitutional colleague of the governor. In a democracy, the front face of a government is the elected chief minister, and not the nominated governor,” he said.
Bose, in his free-wheeling interview said, “As the governor, I will cooperate with the (state) government on what it does, not whatever it does.”
“Each should play their role within their turf. Everyone has a ‘Lakshman Rekha’. Don’t cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’. And most importantly, don’t try to draw the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ for the other. That is the spirit of cooperative federalism,” the governor said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Monday alleged that Governor Bose was violating constitutional norms, and that she does not support his “unconstitutional activities”.
“Don’t take ‘panga’ (challenge) with an elected government. I respect the chair, but cannot respect him as an individual since he disregards the Constitution. He is appointing his friends as vice-chancellors of universities,” the chief minister had said, referring to Bose.
Governor Bose pointed out that the university statutes do not state that vice chancellors have to be necessarily academics.
“I have appointed a former chief justice and a retired IPS officer as officiating VCs because of their qualifications,” he said, adding, “Anybody can be appointed as Interim VCs”.
In his capacity as chancellor of West Bengal’s state-run or state-supported universities, the governor has appointed Justice S K Mukherjee, former chief justice of Karnataka as interim VC of the Rabindra Bharati University and retired IPS officer M Wahab as interim VC of Aliah University.
The governor pointed out that Calcutta High Court has said that on appointments of vice chancellors, the governor needs to consult the state government, but has upheld that he does not need the state’s concurrence in appointment of VCs.