inputs; reax of CU, parties, teachers) Kolkata, Dec 4 (PTI) West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar visited the Calcutta University's College Street campus on Wednesday only to find no senior officials present, even as he hit out at the government alleging policy paralysis in the state's education system.
Seemingly insulted, Dhankhar who is also the university's chancellor sniffed a political cause behind the absence of Vice-Chancellor Sonali Chakravarty Bondopadhyay despite informing her about the visit.
The CU authorities, however, said the governor was informed beforehand that the meeting of the Senate, the highest decision-making body, will not take place on Wednesday.
'I had sent a message to the VC that I am coming at 2 pm and will visit the university and its library. A regular message was also sent.... When I came here, you have seen, there was no one to receive me,' said Dhankhar who was made to sit in a room by the varsity's staff.
Reiterating that there was policy paralysis in the education system of West Bengal, the governor appealed to the state government not to politicise such institutions.
'I, with folded hands, appeal to the (state) government not to politicise universities. For heaven's sake, don't play havoc with education. Our universities have to be temple of justice. Allow the vice-chancellor to act according to the Act (law),' he said.
'You have some role, I have some role. Our roles are defined, let us not step into each other's shoes. If the government has some role, I, as a chancellor has some role, we must play it for the welfare of the university,' Dhankhar added.
The vice-chancellor could not be reached for comments on the issue.
However, a senior official of the CU, who did not wish to be named, said the chancellor was informed beforehand that the Senate meeting will not take place on Wednesday.
'If he still went ahead with his visit, that is up to him. We have nothing to do,' the CU official said.
On the allegation that there was a political cause behind the VC's absence despite being informed about his visit, the official said the governor has not informed the university about his visit.
'He did not intimate us about his decision to visit the university library. We don't have any responsibility on that,' the official said.
Dhankhar regretted that despite being the Chancellor, he does not have any place to sit in the university.
Students greeted Dhankhar with placards demanding quick appointment on compassionate ground, removal of anomalies in promotion and saving the university's autonomy.
Reacting to the incident, senior BJP leader Mukul Roy alleged that the state government has been humiliating the governor on every issue.
'This is completely unacceptable that the governor of a state, who is also the constitutional head, is being humiliated on a regular basis by the state government. The governor should be respected,' Roy said.
The TMC leadership, however, said the governor has overstepped his brief.
'The governor is crossing his constitutional limits.
His only intention is to criticise and embarrass the state government,' senior TMC leader and minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said.
The Calcutta University Teachers' Association (CUTA) said whatever be the reason behind the visit of the governor to the university, the governor should have been given respect as he is also the Chancellor.
'The Governor does not visit the university regularly.
Hence not showing due respect to him does not augur well with the image and stature of an institution like the Calcutta University,' CUTA General Secretary Parthibo Basu said in a statement.
Since assuming charge in July, the governor has been at loggerheads with Mamata Banerjee's government over a number of issues -- ranging from seating arrangement at the Durga Puja carnival to his unscheduled visit to Singur.
The governor recently has been blamed by the ruling TMC for delaying clearance of pending bills leading to an abrupt two-day adjournment of the state assembly, opening a new front for hostilities. PTI SCH SUS PNT SOM NN NN