Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar today said he was left with no other option but to rush to Jadavpur University to rescue Union minister Babul Supriyo, who was heckled and held up by some students at the campus on Thursday, inviting sharp criticism from the state Congress and CPI-M leadership. Mr Dhankar’s contention saw the Congress and CPI-M join forces to seek his condemnation of some of the state BJP leadership who had promised to avenge the incident.

After being held up at the university campus by protesters from Leftist students’ unions for nearly five hours, Supriyo was rescued by the Governor late on Thursday evening. Dhankar, who is also the Chancellor of the university, said there was nothing wrong in his decision to visit its campus to understand the situation prevailing at that time. “I am happy that after I went there, I got the cooperation and support of students and professors,” the Governor said. “If I don’t connect with the agitating students and understand their situation, who will connect with them? I have to connect, have a dialogue with them. Only then, we can go ahead,” the Governor said during the day.

Dhankar had earlier faced flak from the ruling Trinamul Congress as well as Oppostion parties including the Congress and Left Front for turning up at the university amidst the chaos, thereby “playing a pro-active role which the makers of the Constitution had not envisaged for the Governor”. Welcoming the Govenor’s “mediation”, leader of the Opposition, Abdul Mannan said that Mr Dhankar should have in no uncertain terms criticised the state BJP leaders who are threatening the students who had gheraoed the Union minister.

It is not too late for the Governor to condemn the BJP leaders issuing threats, he said. But the Governor will be displaying his bias if he does not show concern for the students’ safety, Mannan said. After all, he is the Chancellor of Jadavpur University, he added. Let the Govenor condemn the persons whose statements can trigger the politics of violence in the campus and away from it, the leader of the Opposition said. Otherwise his unbiased role would be questioned, he added.

It appears that the Governor could not stay away from the RSS game plan to infiltrate the Jadavpur University campus, senior CPI-M leader, Md Salim said. Moreover, his going on record about the lack of options before him are pointers to the inability of the Vice-Chancellor and other senior officials in the administration to handle the situation, he felt. The Governor should have talked to students in the campus, the veteran CPI-M leader said. Moreover, he should have condemned the vandalisation of the students’ union and attacks on several students by criminals, he said.