West Bengal Governor Dr CV Ananda Bose said he shares a “very cordial” relationship with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and hasn’t faced any difficulties while working in the state.
Mr Bose, who completed a year as the governor on Tuesday, said his priority is the well-being of the people of the state.
“I see the governor-CM relationship in two levels. As individuals, our relationship is very cordial which is based on mutual respect and understanding. As far as the relationship between the governor and the CM is concerned, the perception may be different because the elected chief minister and the nominated governor need not necessarily think alike on every issue,” Mr Bose told PTI in an interview at the Raj Bhavan here.
He said his role as the governor is upheld in the Constitution and he works for the well-being of the people.
“When we apply the yardstick of constitutional propriety, certain actions of the government, not only this government, may be found to be wanting. There the governor has to step in. That may lead to apparent conflicts. But conflicts can be resolved because our constitutional democracy has the inner strength to reconcile conflicts,” Mr Bose added.
Mr Bose said he has not faced any difficulty in working as the governor here.
“I have been a civil servant. I have worked with various political parties. I go by what is right, what is proper, what is ethical, what is good. I have my own standards and those are not my subjective standards, but objective because they are based on the Constitution, the law of the land,” he added.
On ruling Trinamool Congress’ allegations that he is running a parallel administration from Raj Bhavan and interfering in the state’s affairs, Bose said in a democracy, anyone can express their views freely and fearlessly. “The governor’s views need not necessarily be of the government. Such dichotomy is natural to democracy. I go ahead which I think is right, legal, and constitutional. That’s my approach,” he said.
“In a democracy, criticism should be there. Somebody should be there to hold a mirror before you. Criticism is good and it should be welcomed. That’s the beauty of democracy,” Mr Bose said.
On allegations that the state’s failure to contain the law and order prompted the governor to open the “anti-corruption cell” at Raj Bhavan, Bose referred to hundreds of petitions alleging corruption on various issues pouring in at his office.
“There is no question whether the state government has failed or succeeded. There are certain aberrations in society and corruption is one of them. Action has to be taken against it and eradicate it. It’s a dynamic process,” he added.
On his priorities as a governor in the years ahead, Bose said he would keep on working for the people of Bengal.
“My priority is the people of Bengal. Whatever I can do for them, I will do. I will also offer constructive cooperation with the state government and uphold the principles of federalism. My next priority will be to translate into action PM Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ also includes Atmanirbhar Bengal,” he added.
On the state assembly passing the West Bengal University Laws (Amendment) Bill 2023 under which the chief minister shall, by the virtue of his/her office, be considered the chancellor of all state-aided universities, replacing the governor, Bose said the matter is sub-judice. “This issue is before the Supreme Court. Not particularly in respect of Bengal, but also in respect of some other states, the issue is the same. Whatever the Supreme Court decides, I will follow in letter and spirit. When and if I am the chancellor, I will exercise the powers of the chancellor without fear and favour. I will be a chancellor who does not leave things to chance,” he said.
The Governor also said that as a part of his paying homage to two of the state’s greatest icons, he has decided to name the portico of Raj Bhavan after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and its North Gate as “Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore Gate”.
In an apparent reference to the UNESCO Heritage to Santiniketan plaque issue where Viswa-Bharati authorities had dropped university founder Tagore’s name, Bose said, “There shall be no attempt to degrade or obliterate their memories from the public mind.
Bose further said that to mark his one year in office, there will be several programmes organised by the Raj Bhavan.
“There will be a run for drug-free Bengal, where cyclists including specially-abled children, and youths will be participating. The Raj Bhavan will also be organising a community marriage of 365 poor people,” he said.
The Raj Bhavan will also organise ‘Meal with Governor” from November 23, when anyone would be allowed to have a meal at the Raj Bhavan, Mr Bose said.
Bose had taken oath as the Bengal Governor on November 23, 2022, after his predecessor Jagdeep Dhankhar became the Vice President of the country.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)