WB Governor Refuses To Disclose Contents Of 'Confidential' Letters To CM and Centre

West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose on Monday said he does not want Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to carry any stress during her scheduled official tour to Spain and would discuss the matter after her return.

West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose interacts with media (Representational Image)

West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose on Monday declined to divulge details of the two "confidential" letters he sent to the Centre and the state government two days ago and said he does not want Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to carry any stress during her scheduled official tour to Spain.

Bose said he would discuss the matter with the chief minister after her return from the tour.

"What is confidential should remain confidential. I am the sender, the recipient would react to it. I wanted to communicate something. Whatever has been sent to the state, this is not the time to discuss, because my constitutional colleague the chief minister is going abroad and I do not want any tension to be given to her. 

"Let her not take any baggage with her when she is on a foreign tour. We will discuss it once she returns," Bose told reporters at the Raj Bhavan here.

The governor sent the two sealed letters to the Centre and the state government in the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, following an intense war of words between the two sides over his appointing officiating vice-chancellors to various universities.

State Education Minister Bratya Basu did not react to the sealed letters sent by the Raj Bhavan.

However, minutes after Bose's warning of a much bigger action at midnight, Basu had on Saturday reacted to the comment and mocked the governor by calling him the "new vampire in town".

On Basu's 'vampire' remarks, the governor said, "I won't comment on what my junior colleague has said." 

Incidentally, sources in the Raj Bhavan said Bose had on Sunday written another letter to Banerjee, which "was just a routine one".

Talking about the state government's allegations that the governor was not clearing bills, Bose said that he has sent seven, out of eight bills, to respective departments for "certain clarifications".

"In respect of all seven (bills), I have sought certain clarifications and sent them to the respective government departments. These are pending with the government, not with the Raj Bhavan.

"One bill is pending  ...(as). Whatever is subjudice cannot be acted upon without the final decisions of the courts," he said. 

Asked about when permanent vice-chancellors will be appointed to universities in the state, Bose said, "It's a long process. There is an assessment and selection committee that should be constituted on the basis Supreme Court's decision and based on the UGC regulations. Only then, regular VCs can be posted. Till then interim VCs will be there. For interim VCs, no professional qualification is needed. Any eligible or suitable person can be appointed as VC. That is a rule and that is how it is done."

The governor, in his capacity as the chancellor of state-run universities, recently appointed interim vice-chancellors for eight varsities, including the prestigious Presidency University, MAKAUT and the University of Burdwan, a step which was severely criticised by the chief minister as a bid to interfere in the running of state-administered universities.

Sources said the interim vice-chancellors of eight other universities have also been finalised and appointment letters "will be issued soon".

Speaking on academicians staging demonstrations near the Raj Bhavan, Bose said, "Protest is a very refined way of democratic function. Anybody can protest but it should be within the limits of socially accepted norms."