New Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy Defends Tweets on 'Islamic Takeover,' 'Love Jihad'

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New Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy Defends Tweets on 'Islamic Takeover,' 'Love Jihad'

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New Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy

Soon after his appointment this week, new Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy tweeted, "Thanks to all twipple who congratulated me. Please appreciate that I can't reply individually. And,alas,no more political tweets."

But the political tweets that already crowd Mr Roy's Twitter page have placed the Bengal BJP leader in the middle of a big row, with his critics launching a #recalltathagatharoy campaign. They allege that his posts demonstrate a strong communal bias and so he cannot be appointed to a constitutional post.

Mr Roy - whose Twitter handle @tathagata2 states that his politics is "Hindutva" and his personal mission "To preserve history of exodus of Hindus fm East Bengal," - is unfazed.

The articulate 70-year-old, an engineer by profession, told NDTV that he does not regret the views he aired as a BJP leader, but as Governor, "I am a changed man."

"That was a different person, a political person, I said things which my politics dictated, my beliefs dictated. I don' regret them. But after becoming Governor, I have constitutional duties," Mr Roy said, adding, "Like parentage, I cannot change his beliefs, but it will not have any part to play in the duties that I perform."

Mr Roy has also charged political rivals with making convoluted interpretations of his tweets. "They may want to hang me or behead me but their convoluted interpretation is wrong," he said.

Asked if he would rethink becoming governor if the Tripura government raised objections, Mr Roy said, "I have talked to home minister Rajnath Singh. He said the Constitution provides for a consultation with the state government before appointment of a governor. He had that consultation with the chief minister and the Chief Minister did not voice any such objection. Therefore that is the end of the controversy."

Tripura is ruled by the CPM led Left Front and the chief minister is CPM Politburo member Manik Sarkar.

Tathagata Roy had tweeted on April 2, "I sometimes think how lucky I am, that I am nearly 70 and won't live to see the Islamic takeover of West Bengal." And about three weeks later, "39 yrs of Left & Pseudoleft, Mamata rule inexorably pushing W Bengal twds de-industrialization, anarchy and Islamic takeover."

Among his 18.7,000 tweets since he joined Twitter in May 2010, are also posts on the Gujarat riots and love jihad.

Attacks on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have dominated his recent activity on Twitter, including tweets like, "Calling all BJP supporters in West Bengal and elsewhere. Try to trend Mamata is #LadyHitler."

He has 14,000 followers on Twitter and tweeted several times a day, sometimes eight to nine times. When he didn't he announced, "Busy writing party literature. No tweets today."

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