The on-going cold war between Tripura Governor Tathagata Ray and Chief Minister Manik Sarkar took an ugly turn on Wednesday when the latter refused to attend a meeting convened by the former. Sarkar went even further by asking the State Chief Secretary Sanjib Ranjan and Director General of Police A K Sukla also not to attend the meeting.
The Chief Minister was of the view that issues which were put up in the agenda were already discussed in a previous meeting last week, and there was no need for another meeting within such a short period of time.
According to sources, the Governor had more unanswered queries for which he had called the officials for another meeting.
Roy wanted to discuss the killing of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters in the State. He also wanted to get more details on the BJP-CPI (M) clash that took place in Bishalgarh.
State BJP leaders alleged Sarkar feared the Chief Secretary and the DGP might spill the beans against the state government.
Though the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has been opposing Roy ever since his tenure began, this is for the first time that the State Government has directly gone for an open confrontation with the Governor.
This growing stand-off between Tripura’s CM and Governor has come at a time when the Assembly elections are just round the corner.
“It shows his frustration and anger. He (Manik Sarkar) barred the chief secretary and DGP from meeting the Governor. So far, this is a rare instance in Tripura,” said Sunil Deodhar, state in-charge and national executive member of BJP.
He added, “If Manik Sarkar does not have anything to hide, then why this undemocratic and authoritarian attitude? It clearly violates the constitutional provisions and protocol.”
Meanwhile, the ruling CPI(M) supported Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s move of not allowing the Chief Secretary and the DGP to meet the Governor at Raj Bhawan.
CPI (M) central committee member Gautam Das said the Chief Minister’s move was right saying that summoning of two top-most official at Raj Bhawan was totally unconstitutional.
“A Governor can’t summon the Chief Secretary or the DGP at Raj Bhawan without informing the Chief Minister, a democratically elected head of the Cabinet. Can the President call up any union minister or Cabinet Secretary without prior intimation to the Prime Minister?” he asked.