Chief minister Mamata Banerjee in her reply to the Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s missive seeking a meeting to discuss the state of the education in West Bengal, informed him that state education minister Partha Chatterjee will take up the matter with him. In her letter to the Governor, the chief minister said, “Since the subject matter pertains to the department of education, I am forwarding the letter to Partha Chatterjee, minister incharge, education department, to discuss all the issues with you at a convenient time.”
Mr Dhankhar tweeted, “Efforts to ensure improvement in education scenario seem to be bearing results. To my communication of December 25, CM has responded on Dec 26 that Minister-in charge, Education, will discuss all the issues. I look forward to this. In democracy we have to move in togetherness.”
The chief minister’s writing to the Governor in prompt response to the latter’s missive ~ her letter is dated 26 December, the Governor’s 25 December ~ is being seen as a sign of thaw in relations between the Governor and the state government which came under severe strain following the trading of a series of barbs between the two on a number of issues. Earlier in the week, Mr Dhankhar, who is the Chancellor of Jadavpur University had to make a retreat from the campus without joining the annual convocation held on 24 December after a vociferous protest on the campus forced him to leave the spot in a huff.
Later, a peeved governor vented his anger on the state of education in Bengal, which he said was “vitiated” by the politicisation of education, and poured scorn at the state government accusing it of being responsible for causing him to face such a humiliation at the hands of a few people. Irate over the situation he was subjected to on the Jadavpur University campus, he sought a meeting with the chief minister to discuss matters relating to education in the state in detail and appealed to her to call on him within 15 days for a meeting at Raj Bhavan.
The Governor had also called all the vice chancellors of the state universities for a meeting. Meanwhile, two students’ bodies of the university, Arts Faculty Students Union (AFSU) and Faculty of Engineering and Technology Students Union (FETSU) in an open letter addressed to the Chancellor, had declared that he was being “rusticated” from his position as Chancellor. In the open letter, the student groups alleged that the Governor was present on university premises in the evening of September 19 “along with miscreants who hurled bombs, sexually assaulted women and vandalised sections of the university”.
“Furthermore, you arrived uninvited to Jadavpur University on 22.12.2019. We have investigated your behaviour and motives and come to the conclusion that they are shameless attempts to seek attention from students, thereby wasting our valuable time. Furthermore, on 23.12.2019, as part of the ongoing evaluation of university officials by students, you were asked a number of questions about the NRC, NPR, CAA; the SC/ST Commission, violence unleashed on Muslim and other students and so on. We have found your responses to these questions unsatisfactory,” said the letter.