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Bengal Governor action “unbecoming”, says BJP

Hatekhori' programme in Raj Bhavan

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KOLKATA, Jan 27 (PTI): BJP vice-president Dilip Ghosh on Friday took a jibe at West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose for his decision to hold his ‘hatekhori’ (initiation to Bengali) programme at the Raj Bhavan in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saraswati Puja.

Ghosh, the former BJP state president, maintained that Bose should not be controlled by “someone else” and his action is “unbecoming” of the gubernatorial post.

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Bose, whose mother tongue is Malayam, got his first Bengali lesson from three children in the presence of Banerjee at the Raj Bhavan on January 26.

He was taught to write the first letter of Bengali alphabet by class three student Diyangshi Roy, two class four students taught him the meaning of two Bengali words before Banerjee who was among those seated in the audience at Raj Bhavan.

Banerjee, who is also the ruling Trinamool Congress chief, had gifted the governor the Bengali primer ‘Barnaparichay’ written by the 19th century social reformer and educator Iswarchandra Vidyasagar.

‘Hatekhori’ is an age-old ritual followed in Bengali households for ages when children are taught to write the alphabets typically on a slate on Saraswati Puja, when the goddess of learning is worshipped on Basant Panchami day. The ritual is traditionally performed by priests before a child begins their education in the Bangla alphabet.

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When it was pointed out to him that Bose who had invited Banerjee to attend the ‘hatekhori’ ritual, the BJP leader said, “The governor of a state should not take part in such drama. It does not add glory to his constitutional post.

“Everyone appreciates his desire to learn a new language, but he could have done it without making it such a public show. And he should be careful not to be used by certain quarters (TMC),” he added.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen hit back saying, “BJP is attacking the governor since he has refused to toe its prescribed lines and has not gone into the confrontational mode with the state government on every issue as desired by the state BJP leadership, unlike his predecessor Jagdeep Dhankhar.”

“The hon’ble governor, who has the desire and curiosity to learn new languages, had invited the CM to be part of the function to learn Bengali. BJP has descended to such a level that it is finding politics even in that. The BJP does not believe in maintaining cordial ties between the state and Raj Bhavan,” he said.

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Dhankhar, currently the country’s vice-president, had frequent run-ins with the Mamata Banerjee government during his tenure since 2019 to 2022 when he flagged issues like the alleged collapse in law and order, attack on political adversaries, interference in education system and  objected to several drafts passed by the state assembly. The TMC had taken the dmand for his removal to the president’s office several times since 2021.

Bose, on the contrary, has not been involved in any tiff with the government since his appointment on November 18 last year.

Banerjee and her education minister Bratya Basu had been to Raj Bhavan for ‘cordial’ meetings with him in recent times, which  drew the ire of BJP leaders like Suvendu Adhikari who have accused Bose of “lowering the esteem of the post of governor.”

Adhikari, who was earlier a protege of Banerjee, had defected to BJP before the 2021 state election and is now the leader of the opposition.

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