A day after West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu accused him of trying to “destroy” the higher education system in the state and running a “puppet regime” in universities, Governor CV Ananda Bose on Saturday warned of a much bigger action at midnight.
As the clock was nearing midnight, a Raj Bhavan official said Bose had “signed two confidential sealed letters”, one for the state secretariat, Nabanna, and another for the Centre.
On the content of the letters, the official said “it would be disclosed later”.
“The governor signed two confidential letters tonight, one meant for Nabanna and the other for Delhi,” the official added.
“You will come to know the content of the letters later,” the official told PTI, hinting that the subject could be on the recent war of words between the governor and the state government.
Incidentally, Bose signed the letters a couple of hours after holding an elaborate meeting with chief secretary HK Dwivedi at Raj Bhavan.
The topic of the meeting, however, was not disclosed by either the state government or the Raj Bhavan.
Earlier, in the day Bose warned of much bigger action at midnight in the backdrop of the state education minister’s severe criticism and attacks.
“Wait for the stroke of midnight today. You will see what is the action,” Bose had told reporters on the sidelines of a programme here in the afternoon.
Minutes after Bose’s comment, Basu, without naming the governor, mocked him by calling him the “new vampire in town” and cautioned the people to “beware of him”.
“See till midnight, see the action BEWARE! BEWARE! BEWARE! New Vampire in the town! Citizens please watch yourselves. Eagerly waiting for the “Rakkhas Prahar” (monster prahar), according to Indian Mythology!,” Basu posted on ‘X’.
In the continuing war of words between the West Bengal government and the Raj Bhavan over the appointment of interim vice-chancellors in universities, Basu had on Friday accused the governor of trying to “destroy” the higher education system in the state.
The minister also charged the governor, who is the chancellor of state-run universities, with running a “puppet regime” in the varsities and threatening registrars not to hold meetings with the higher education department.
“The honourable governor wants to run a puppet regime by appointing people according to his whims to satisfy someone’s ego. He is making a constant effort to dismantle the higher education system,” Basu said.
The West Bengal Educationists’ Forum, in a statement, described Bose’s comment on midnight action as “threats”.
“It is unfortunate to witness the chancellor blaring out threats of staging a midnight drama of revenge against the educationists and the officials and functionaries of the state higher education department,” the statement said.
The governor, in his capacity as the chancellor of state-run universities, recently appointed interim vice-chancellors for eight varsities, including the prestigious Presidency University, MAKAUT and the University of Burdwan, a step which was severely criticised by the chief minister as a bid to interfere with the running of state-administered universities.
Sources said the interim vice-chancellors of eight other universities have also been finalised and appointment letters “will be issued soon”.