Governor shouldn't have gone public with remarks: Somnath

Kolkata, Jan 11 (IANS) Observing that West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan should not have gone public with his "goondaism" remarks, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee Friday hoped for an end to the controversy surrounding the comments made in the wake of CPI-M-Trinamool clashes in the state.

"He (Narayanan) is the constitutional head of the state and I feel he should not have made the comments in public," Chatterjee told IANS.

Chatterjee also criticised state Panchayat and Public Health Engineering Minister Subrata Mukherjee for dubbing Narayanan "a Congress-appointed constitutional head".

Narayanan had Wednesday virtually rapped the Mamata Banerjee-led government over the clashes between the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Trinamool workers, saying it was akin to "some sort of goondaism" which was "not acceptable".

"This is not a good political culture. I think some sort of goondaism is going on here," Narayanan had said asking the police and the administration to function impartially in arresting the guilty.

The remarks made to the media, attracted the wrath of the government.

"He has spoken like a politician. People will misunderstand his comments because he is a Congress-appointed constitutional head. His statements will only provoke the people," Mukherjee said, and even issued a warning.

"We have shown him (Narayanan) the yellow card now. If the time comes, we will hand the red card," Mukherjee had quipped.

Chatterjee called the minister's statements "unfortunate".

"It is most unfortunate the governor was called a Congress appointee. It is a direct allegation about his integrity and questions the constitution itself because governor is a constitutional appointee," said Chatterjee.

The veteran politician however, hoped the controversy would end soon. "I feel we must give both the parties the long rope and allow the controversy to rest."

Narayanan's comments came in the wake of the attack on CPI-M leader and former minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah, allegedly by Trinamool activists led by former legislator Arabul Islam in Bhangar in South 24-Parganas district Sunday.

Following the attack, many have been injured in clashes between Trinamool and CPI-M workers.

Political scientist and constitutional law expert Subhash C. Kashyap also concurred with the view that Narayanan should not have gone public with his comments.

"He (Narayanan) is the head of the state, it is his government and his council of ministers. It is very unfortunate if the governor and his ministers are speaking at cross purposes in the public," Kashyap said.

"Though the Constitution does not provide the rules of speech for either the governor or the ministers, a situation should never arise where they are speaking at cross purposes in the public," he added.

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