The Aam Aadmi Party today came out in support of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying the governor's role was part of the BJP's larger design to "destabilise" governments in non-BJP states. Senior AAP leader Ashutosh said West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi "deliberately insulting and threatening" Banerjee establishes that the Raj Bhavans were being remote-controlled by the Centre.
"Mamata Banerjee is no ordinary politician. The governor's words violated the constitutional decorum. He has threatened an elected chief minister. This is not a good sign for the country's democracy," he said in a press conference. Referring to the crisis over three nominated MLAs in Puducherry and the arrest of a few Dalit activists in Lucknow recently, he stressed that opposition unity is the "need of the hour", to tide over the "crisis assailing the country".
AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal share a good rapport with his West Bengal counterpart. In the recent times, the two has shared dais in protest against demonetisation.
In 2015, the AAP had organised a conclave on cooperative federalism in Delhi. But only Banerjee and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar had attended it while Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Mizoram's Lal Thanhawlal and Puducherry's N Rangaswamy had sent letters of support.
Asked whether the AAP was planning to form a platform for opposition parties, Ashutosh said it is time that other parties realise what AAP has faced.
"Now, other parties are also facing the heat. This is also a lesson for the Congress. The issue is saving democracy in the country," he said.
Yesterday, against the backdrop of a violence in Basirhat in West Bengal, Banerjee accused Tripathi of "threatening" her over phone and talking "big on the law and order".
She had said that he was acting like a "BJP block president" and that she even thought of quitting office over this "humiliation".
WB governor has crossed all constitutional limits: TMC
The Trinamoool Congress today launched a fresh attack on West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi, accusing him of "crossing" all constitutional limits and reminding him that the Raj Bhavan "could not be the party office of the BJP".
Speaking to reporters, TMC Secretary General Partha Chatterjee charged, "The governor has crossed the constitutional line. The way he spoke to the chief minister yesterday, he has forgotten that it is not Uttar Pradesh."
Chatterjee also said that the official residence of the governor could not be the party office of the BJP.
"He is the ex-speaker of the (UP) assembly. As a lawyer he must be aware of the observation of the Supreme Court (on the relation) between the chief minister and the governor... So whatever he has said is an insult to the people of West Bengal," he charged.
The unprecedented spat between the chief minister and the governor came as communal clashes broke out in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district on the night of July 4 following an "objectionable" Facebook post. The government rushed in 400 BSF troopers to assist the local administration in controlling the situation.
Chatterjee said that the party has already written to President Pranab Mukherjee stating that "this is unbecoming of a governor".
A copy of the letter to the president was forwarded to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, he said.
Referring to the governor's statement yesterday asking how confidential talks came out in the open, Chatterjee said, "You (Tripathi) telephoned the chief minister only after a team of BJP leaders met you at Raj Bhavan".
A Raj Bhavan statement had yesterday said that the talks between the governor and chief minister "were confidential in nature and none is expected to disclose it".
To a question on whether the TMC was demanding the governor's removal, Chatterjee said, "If the governor does not express regret for the way he had spoken to the chief minister, we will have to take the tough stand."
Alleging that the governor had asked the chief minister to manage her party, he remarked, "This is unprecedented. How can he ask her to manage her party members. Has he become the BJP spokesperson? He is the constitutional head".
(With PTI inputs)