Dhankhar appoints new Rabindra Bharati Univ VC; TMC, Speaker criticise move

PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 01-07-2022 21:57 IST | Created: 01-07-2022 21:56 IST
Dhankhar appoints new Rabindra Bharati Univ VC; TMC, Speaker criticise move
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West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has triggered a storm by naming the next vice-chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University (RBU), even as a bill nominating Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, with whose government he shares an acrimonious relation, as the chancellor of the state-run varsities awaits his mandatory nod.

The governor is the current chancellor of the state-run universities by dint of his office and the term of the current RBU vice-chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Roy Choudhury is set to be over soon.

While Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee said the governor's action was unfortunate, the ruling Trinamool Congress alleged that Dhankhar proved that he does not believe in democratic principles.

Dhankhar has appointed Mahua Mukherjee, professor in the department of dance of RBU, as its next vice-chancellor.

He tweeted on Thursday that he has appointed Mukherjee as the next VC in terms of section 9(1)(b) of the Rabindra Bharati Act, 1981.

The governor also attached a note quoting the recommendation of the government search committee for the post and said that he was choosing Mukherjee, whose name topped the list.

TMC state spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said, ''While his consent is awaited for the bill passed by West Bengal Assembly appointing the chief minister as chancellor of the state universities, the hon'ble governor hastily announced a name as the VC of RBU. He did not bother to take into confidence the education minister and chief minister before the announcement," Dhankhar is exceeding his brief, he claimed. ''He should not have done this. He cannot do such things unilaterally. This House passed bills appointing the cm as chancellor of state universities. He should not have gone ahead announcing the name of one as VC after the majority of the House voted for the bill,'' Speaker Biman Banerjee said.

While Basu Roy Choudhury could not be contacted, a source close to him said he was not willing to get an extension of his tenure. The Assembly passed a number of bills last month to replace the governor with the chief minister as the chancellor of all state-run universities and the education minister as the reader of private universities.

Dhankhar recently said that he will consider those bills without any "bias or prejudice".

The tussle over the administration of state-run universities is the latest flashpoint between the Mamata Banerjee government and the governor, with the two sides having indulged in multiple feuds since 2019 when Dhankhar assumed charge in West Bengal.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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