West Bengal Guv takes 'strong exception' to Education Minister for calling him as 'BJP man'

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], June 2 (ANI): West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Tuesday took a 'strong exception' to widely reported statement of state's Education Minister Partha Chatterjee in which he has called the Governor 'BJP man' for the appointment of Prof Goutam Chandra the Pro-Vice chancellor of Burdwan University.

"This is very unfortunate. We sent him our choice but he appointed a person, not on the list. He always wanted to appoint the people loyal to the BJP. This is not done. We will not accept him in that position ... The Governor should have remembered that the government pays salaries in all the universities," Chatterjee has said, according to a statement issued by the Raj Bhavan.

Responding to these allegations, West Bengal Governor Dhankar said that on a point of fact also he has tripped and the names were shared with him and the consultation as per Act effected.

"Such an allegatory stance, apart from being highly regretful, is unbecoming for the position he holds as Minister. It is also an outrage of the Oath of Office he has taken as a Minister. His earlier attempts to politicise the Office of the Governor/Chancellor and now this outrageous comment cannot be countenanced, as the approach is indicative of a strategy to embroil the Office of Governor in the public domain in controversy," Governor Dhankar was quoted as saying in the statement.

"His stance that the Governor should remember that 'government pays salaries in all the universities' is not only lamentable but betrays ignorance about the working of the Constitution and democracy. Does he intend to indicate that by paying salaries such vital educational institutions are required to be at his beck and call, be in subordination and compliance mode? Such a situation will be a death-knell of education in the State, and is unacceptable," he added.

According to the Governor, the appointment of the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Burdwan University was effected after due consultation with the Minister on more than one occasion in accordance with the Statutory provisions of the Burdwan University Act.

"The same is in accordance with the legal regime and competence of the Chancellor enjoys under the provisions of the Act. Suggestion by the Government received full consideration but the final decision in the mater as per the Statute rests with the Chancellor and that was taken fully in accordance with the provisions," Governor said.

The West Bengal Governor said that the rationale of Minister Chatterjee's logic is otherwise also fragile.

"By his logic, institutions like that of the Governor under Article 158, the Public Service Commission under Article 322, the High Court and the like, whose salaries are paid by the State government, should be in subordination or compliance mode. It is hoped such unthoughtful and constitutionally repugnant statement is immediately withdrawn and the intervention of the Chief Minister on the point is called for," he said.

The Governor further said that the appointment of Prof Goutam Chandra by the Chancellor as Pro-Vice chancellor, Burdwan University, was in accordance with the provision contained in Section 9A (1) (b) of the West Bengal University Laws (Amendment) Act, 2011.

"The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Administration and Academic) shall be appointed by the Chancellor in consultation with the Minister. The term of his office shall be for four years and he shall be eligible for re-appointment for a period not exceeding four years but shall not hold office beyond the age of sixty-five years," provisions read as quoted by West Bengal Governor Dhankar. (ANI)