West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose's high praise for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a recent event has led to uneasiness in the state BJP, which is already upset over their bonhomie.
Mr Bose, speaking at the convocation of St Xavier's University on Monday, in Kolkata, put the Trinamool Congress chief in the league of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, APJ Abdul Kalam and former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He said like Mamata Banerjee, "these are all statesmen and politicians who were writers".
The governor's remark drew an angry reaction from the Bengal BJP. "I partly agree with the Governor's assessment that Mamata Banerjee is like Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister responsible for the 1943 Bengal famine; arguably the worst genocide in human history resulting in over 4 million deaths from starvation and malnutrition," tweeted Suvendu Adhikari, the leader of the opposition in Bengal Assembly.
The St Xavier's University conferred an Hon. DLitt on WB CM @MamataOfficial.— Suvendu Adhikari • শুভেন্দু অধিকারী (@SuvenduWB) February 6, 2023
The Hon'ble Governor's speech on the occasion sounded as if he was rehearsing for the customary speech which he'll read out at the beginning of the upcoming Budget Session of WB Legislative Assembly. pic.twitter.com/kCXDbQ7LKw
"His speech on the occasion sounded as if he was rehearsing for the customary speech which he'll read out at the beginning of the upcoming Budget Session of WB Legislative Assembly," said Mr Adhikari.
Mamata Banerjee was conferred an honorary DLitt at the convocation.
"We remember in India, Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. We also have none other than APJ Abdul Kalam who gave Wings of Fire to the young generation and ignited their minds through his writings. We have the poet Atal Bihari Vajpayee in whose team Mamata Banerjee was a distinguished member," he added.
"We also have Winston Churchill, and we have (John) Milton. Milton is now known as the author of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained but at that time Milton was a statesman who was in charge of Commonwealth Affairs. We are glad, as people of West Bengal, in this distinguished league we have none other than West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee," he added.
The Governor and the Chief Minister share a cordial relationship - a sharp contrast from the past when the ties between Raj Bhavan and Mamata Banerjee had completely broken down.
Mr Bose has adopted a more traditional approach and so far kept his distance from politics.