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Mamata Banerjee

Bengal: Mamata Banerjee accuses governor of “destroying” education, threatens to sit in dharna

September 5, 2023
Mita Mukherjee

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused state governor CV Ananda Bose of hatching a conspiracy to destroy the education system in Bengal by compelling educational institutions to follow his directives and she threatened to sit on a dharna in front of Raj Bhavan to save education in Bengal.

Attacking the governor for appointing officiating vice-chancellors of at least 14 universities on last Sunday night without informing the education department, the chief minister also threatened to block funds if the governor continues to enforce his orders disregarding the state in this way.

 “ There is a governor sitting here in Bengal. He wants to establish his control everywhere, in colleges, in universities and in schools….. He alone wants to run all institutions,” said Mamata addressing teachers, students and employees of schools, colleges and universities at a function organized by the state government to observe Teachers’ Day.

Hitting out at the governor for appointing vice-chancellors of state universities without informing the state higher education department, the chief minister asked: “ Have you ever heard university vice-chancellors getting replaced in the middle of the night? If you (the governor) meddle in the affairs of the university in this way, we will be forced to stop giving funds. Former IPS, ex-judge are being given appointments overnight. He is doing whatever he thinks as if he is  zamindar. We will not tolerate this. You (the governor) may appoint the vice-chancellors, but you must remember, the salaries of vice-chancellors are provided by the state government. Let us see how you can pay the salaries of the vice-chancellors,  if we stop the funds. It is like tit for tat. There will be no compromise,”  Mamata said.

She was referring to a late night development on Sunday, when  governor C V Ananda Bose appointed officiating vice-chancellors for 14 state-aided universities including the prestigious Presidency University. He had also issued a directive to all university officers to seek the clearance of their respective vice-chancellors before implementing any state government order.

Justice Subhrakamal Mukherjee, who currently holds officiating charge of Rabindra Bharati University was appointed the officiating vice-chancellor of Presidency University by the governor.

The chief minister today also alleged that the governor was doing nothing for the state other than creating a crisis. “ He is doing nothing. We are passing bills in the Assembly but he is not giving assent. This is wrong according to the Constitution. These problems will have to be resolved.” she said.

The state government and the governor, who is also the chancellor of state universities have been in loggerheads over the Raj Bhavan’s decision to appoint interim vice-chancellors in several state universities.

Also read: Bengal: Governor appoints interim VCs, minister says decision “dictatorial”

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