Bengal CM, Not Governor, To Be Chancellor Of Universities, Decides State Cabinet

Kolkata: The chief minister of West Bengal is set to replace the Governor as Chancellor of all state-run universities in West Bengal.

The West Bengal cabinet on Thursday gave its nod to the proposal, Education minister Bratya Basu said.

A bill will be tabled in the state assembly and once that is passed, it will become law.

“The cabinet unanimously decided that the Chancellor of all state-run universities will be the chief minister in place of the Governor. This decision will be placed before the legislative assembly in the form of a bill during the next session and a law will be passed,” Basu told reporters.

The move is almost certainly a result of the long-standing battle between the state government and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

Dhankhar, who is the ex-officio Chancellor of 17 universities in Bengal, has raised questions over the selection of vice-chancellors.

Opposition party BJP hit out at the cabinet’s decision.

“Mamata Banerjee wants to have all powers in her own hands. This is one such move in that direction. She wants to run an authoritarian regime where nobody can question her actions. This is a tactic to divert people’s attention from burning issues,” said spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya.

TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh attacked Dhankar, who was appointed Governor in July 2019.

“A governor enjoys a constitutional post but this governor is an agent of the BJP,” Ghosh said.

Former Presidency College principal Amal Mukhopadhyay said the government’s action will politicise the education system.

“The state’s education system will be adversely affected by political interference,” he felt.

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