Education minister Bratya Basu said that the state government was mulling removal of Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as chancellor of the state-aided universities and chief minister Mamata Banerjee assuming interim charge.
Addressing media persons, Basu said, “He is delaying files day after day. He has not shown any sort of cooperation. As the Kerala Governor has said, we would be compelled to do that as well. We will see if there are provisions for this in the Constitution and even consult legal experts. We will ask the lawyers if as an interim measure the chief minister can become the chancellor”.
Dhankhar tweeted, “Education scenario @MamataOfficial worrisome as no Chancellor & VC of Pvt Univ turned up for meeting with Governor-Visitor. Shocking unionism” with pictures showing empty chairs in Raj Bhavan as evidence for truant vice-chancellors and chancellors of 11 private universities.
He alleged that the absence of VCs indicate that they are following the diktats of the ruling dispensation.
Basu alluded to Kerala Governor Mohammad Arif Khan’s suggestion that Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan be made chancellor of all Kerala Universities.
“It is most unfortunate that chancellors and vice-chancellors of private universities, 11 in number, have not turned up for a meeting with the Visitor,” the Governor said in a video.
“Similar situation was faced in January 2020 when vice-chancellors of state universities were called upon to come to Raj Bhavan for a meeting. These developments are alarming and indicate rule of the ruler and not of law. Such a scenario cannot be countenanced. The state government is making appointment of vice-chancellors ignoring the chancellors. I am now being forced to take a strong view of the developments. UGC needs to engage in serious probe regarding private universities as I find that they are in breach of several regulations,” he said.
This might be another spark of a new spurring between the Governor and the chief minister whose party leaders have traded barbs with Dhankhar and alleged that he has “been running a BJP party office inside Raj Bhavan” and acting on the instructions of Union home minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.