West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu on Sunday described Governor CV Ananda Bose "as a poet in Raj Bhavan without any passion." The minister was referring to Bose's comment to journalists on Friday that the letter that he (governor) had written to his constitutional colleague (the chief minister) on September 9 should remain confidential between them.
"If either party wants to speak about the letters, they will do so at an appropriate time. What was mystery is history now," the governor had said.
On the issue of interim vice-chancellors appointed by the governor, Basu said, "Some of these VCs are cosying up to the governor though we had fought for the cause of many of them in the past." "We will not threaten them, we will not tell them anything. But they should remember they will stay in the state. They should remember that the term of this poet (Governor) may not be long," he added.
He accused the ruling BJP at the Centre of taking control of every institution, every post in the country.
The conflict between the governor and the state began in May on the issue of appointing interim VCs to 16 state universities by the Raj Bhavan. However, the state claimed that the appointments were taking place unilaterally without holding any discussions with the higher education department, the chief minister or the minister concerned.
Bose, who went ahead by appointing eight interim VCs, justified his decision saying it was done in the interest of students as the universities didn't have any head after the expiry of the term of the full-time VCs.
The state also accused Bose of sitting on the Bill to form the search committee for VCs in every university.
Referring to the minister's attack, BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said the education minister should not have used such language against the office of governor which is in poor taste.
"Basu's attack on a personality like governor, who is trying to clean up the mess caused by the ruling Trinamool by meddling in the autonomy of universities, is cheap and in poor taste," he added.
Leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari said Basu is "making incoherent speeches against the governor. We condemn his continued statements against such an honourable person."