KOLKATA: CV Ananda Bose took charge as Bengal governor on Wednesday, his first day in office sweetened by two handis of rasagollas from CM Mamata Banerjee but also bearing a taste of the intense political back-and-forth he may have to witness during his tenure.
The two handis holding 100 rasagollas - for many the highest form of mishti that Bengal churns out - reached Raj Bhavan in the morning. But what followed a couple of hou-rs later would have given Bose an inkling of what to expect during his term in office.
Calcutta HC Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava administered the oath to Bose at the Raj Bhavan's Throne Room at 10.45am. The Trinamool camp was present in full strength, led by the CM. Among the attendees were speaker Biman Banerjee, senior ministers Firhad Hakim, Chandrima Bhattacharya and Arup Biswas, party Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay and LS chief whip Kalyan Bandyopadhyay. Former Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, too, was present. But ass-embly opposition leader and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari, BJP state president and MP Sukanta Majumdar and state Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury stayed away though Left Front chairman Biman Bose was present.
Adhikari gave the ceremony a miss taking umbrage at the seating arrangement - his seat was towards the rear of the room - and later sought and got a separate appointment from the governor.
Led by CM Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress seniors were present in full strength at the oath-taking ceremony of new Bengal governor C V Ananda Bose at the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday but leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari gave the ceremony a miss, taking umbrage at the seating arrangement. Adhikari’s seat was towards the rear of the Throne Room between chairs marked for MLAs Krishna Kalyani and Biswajit Das, who joined Trinamool at events outside the assembly after winning the 2021 polls on BJP tickets.
“It is not possible for me to take a seat next to such objectionable persons. I have requested the governor to give me an appointment separately,” he said, calling what happened “uncultured”. He later called on the governor at Raj Bhavan and presented him with a copy of the National Human Rights Commission report on post-poll violence, which Trinamool had junked as being highly partisan, and a copy of the Gita in English. “I sent a welcome mail at 10.50am. He gave me an appointment at 12.45 pm. I reached Raj Bhavan at 12.37 pm and the governor spent 22 minutes with me,” he said.
The governor, soon after taking oath, got a letter from state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury, complaining of “administrative excesses” on Congress councillors in Purulia’s Jhalda Municipality after Trinamool recently lost the board. He sought Bose’s intervention because he suspected that efforts were on to appoint an administrator.
Bose referred to his “emotional connect” with Kolkata after the ceremony and reminisced how he used to stay near the Shyambazar five-point crossing during his stint here as a State Bank of India probationary officer. One of the stories that Bose has authored is about a flower seller in Kolkata who earned by picking flowers from a cemetery