Kolkata: Firing the latest salvo in his war of words with the Mamata Banerjee government, West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan on Friday quipped he was "glad" to be safe, countering a minister's comments that the regime was keeping a watch on him. "I'm glad that I am safe," Narayanan replied on Friday on the sidelines of a programme in Kolkata when asked to react to the minister's comment that he was under watch.
The governor's comments came in the wake of Panchayat and Public Health Engineering Minister Subrata Mukherjee's criticism of the state's constitutional head on Thursday after Narayanan virtually rapped the government over clashes between Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Trinamool workers. "This is not a good political culture. I think some sort of goondaism is going on here," Narayanan had said on Wednesday.
A day after, Mukherjee said: "We have shown him (Narayanan) the yellow card now. If the time comes, we will hand the red card. We are keeping a watch on him". Mukherjee had also alleged that the governor was "speaking like a politician" and called him a "Congress-appointed constitutional head".
Narayanan retorted: "I said what I said as a governor. So there is no conflict of interest. I'm not aspiring to be an elected member." However, Narayanan refused to say anything more on the issue. "I have already said what I had to say. I have nothing more to say about that."
Narayanan's comments followed the attack on CPI-M leader and former minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah, allegedly by Trinamool activists led by former legislator Arabul Islam in Bhangar in South 24-Parganas district on Sunday. Following the attack, many have been injured in clashes between Trinamool and CPI-M workers. Narayanan had on Wednesday also called the violence "unacceptable" and pointed at weaknesses on the part of the police in tackling the clashes.