Kolkata, July 4 Levelling a series of sensational allegations against West Bengal Governor K.N. Tripathi, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused him of threatening and insulting her and said at one point, she was unable to take the “humiliation” and felt like quitting.
Using unusually strong language, Banerjee said the Governor spoke a functionary of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and not like the state’s constitutional head.
“The Governor told me many things today. I have been deeply insulted and humiliated by the comments of the Governor… He has threatened me and talked to me like a block president of the BJP. I have told him ‘you cannot talk to me like this. I hold an elected constitutional post,” an angry Banerjee told media persons here.
Iterating that Tripathi called up her on her phone, she said: “The post of Governor is a constitutional post, he has to follow the constitutional norms. Mine is also a constitutional post.
“I have not come to power at his mercy. I have not come to the power due to the benevolence of BJP, CPI-M or Congress. I have come to the power because of the mandate of the people, whereas the Governor has been nominated by the centre…,”
Holding that there should be mutual respect between the Governor and the Chief Minister, she said she even thought of stepping down from the post after the barrage of “insults”.
“We are not servants. He is a constitutional post holder, I respect him. He should reciprocate by showing respect to me also. I run a government. After today’s insult, at one point I thought I would quit. I have not been insulted like this anytime in the past,” said Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo.
She said Tripathi spoke to her regarding some trouble between two communities since Monday.
“He is showing me law and order. Why will he take sides? Can’t he speak for both sides? When any small incident happens, BJP workers hand him a piece of paper and he speaks what not,” said a combative Banerjee.
Accusing some religious leaders of both communities of inciting violence in exchange for money, she said: “I warn leaders from both communities, my patience should not be taken as my weakness. I will not tolerate this hooliganism.”
Noting that a Facebook post had triggered the conflict, she said police promptly arrested the person who wrote the Facebook post but “then the other group put up road blockades, attacked the police, and burnt a police jeep”.
“Why are you on the streets and not countering it there (Facebook)?” she asked.
“If police had opened fire, 100 people would have died. I cannot fire on the masses. It is because of you that I had to face so much insults. I am not here to be Chief Minister, I am here to help people. It will take only second for me to leave the chair.
I again tell the Governor, ‘don’t behave like this’,” said the fuming Banerjee.