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.
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 relation 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,” Bose told PTI in an interview at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata.
“My role as the governor is upheld in the Constitution. I work 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,” Bose added.
“I haven’t faced any difficulties 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, frankly 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.
“In a democracy, criticism should be there. Somebody should be there to hold a mirror before you. I do not think that criticism should be shunned. Criticism is good and it should be welcomed. That’s the beauty of democracy, I welcome it.”
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 such. 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 at the Supreme Court and would follow what the apex court decides.
“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.
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