Kolkata, April 12 (IANS) West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan, who had asked the CPI-M to apologise for heckling Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Friday said the Marxists’ complaint against him to the country’s president was better than “the kind of rods used”.
“They are entitled to complain. It is what is expected and not the kind of rods that were used,” said Narayanan, referring to the protests that Banerjee and her Finance Minister Amit Mitra encountered in Delhi earlier this week.
Banerjee had alleged that one of the protestors tried to attack Mitra with an iron rod, but one of the ministers snatched it away.
CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat Thursday wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee, complaining about Narayanan that his comments “do not behove a person occupying a constitutional post”.
Describing the heckling by activists of the Students Federation of India, the students’ wing of the CPI-M, as “shocking pre-meditated assault and unprecedented in India’s modern history”, Narayanan had demanded a “public apology by the politburo of the CPI-M”.
The comments drew the wrath of the Marxists, who questioned the governor’s credentials to make such a comment and went to say that “he does not have any knowledge how the politburo or the CPI-M committees operate”.
This started a virtual war of words. Narayanan’s office subsequently came out with a rebuttal, saying “he has been a student of communism for over six decades, and has read and digested the works of Marx, Engels and Mao and has spoken extensively at national and international conferences on the subject of communism”.
Questioning the justification of Narayanan’s comments, Karat in his letter also said these were encouraging the widespread retaliatory attacks on the party’s offices in West Bengal.