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Bengal clashes: Uneasy calm holds, spat between CM & governor worsens

The Trinamool Congress told the governor that the Raj Bhawan cannot become the office of the BJP. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 05, 2017, 07.41 PM (IST)

An uneasy calm has descended over Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, which saw communal clashes on Monday and Tuesday. 

PTI reported a police officer as saying no untoward incident had been reported from Baduria -- where the clashes broke out -- but that the situation remained tense. 

The Centre has sent in paramilitary forces to keep the situation under control. 

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But the spat between chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Gover KN Tripathi continues. 

The governor had called Banerjee on Tuesday after reports of the clashes -- which spread to other parts of the district from Baduria -- broke. 

Banerjee said she felt humiliated after the call, and accused the of governor acting like “a BJP block president” and “threatening” her. 

Tripathi replied that “the governor cannot remain a mute spectator of the affairs in the state”. 

On Wednesday, the governor released a statement saying: “Instead of making accusations against him, it is better for the chief minister and her colleagues to direct their attention to maintain peace and law and order in the state without making any distinction on the basis of caste, creed or community.” 

The release added: “It is wrong to say that Raj Bhawan has become the office of the BJP or the RSS.” 

That was in response to the Trinamool Congress saying the governor's office cannot be the office of the BJP.  

TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee meanwhile said the governor had crossed his constitutional limits. 

To which Tripathi, in his statement, replied: “The governor has been apprised of the statement of Partha Chatterjee, honourable education minister, and regrets to say that this is an attempt to cover the lapses of the state government and divert attention from the main issue of law and order.” 

The statement added: “The governor is fully aware of his constitutional obligations and limitations and needs no lesson from anyone on this count.” 

The statement further said: “True that the chief minister has been democratically elected by the people, but it should not be forgotten that the governor is also appointed by the President on the recommendation of a democratically elected Union Government. In fact, the allegations of the chief minister amount to insulting and humiliating the governor and his office.” 

Earlier in the day the home ministry had asked for a report on the situation in the state. 

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