Agartala, March 12: Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar has expressed his “disappointment and displeasure” over the Centre’s unilateral decision to appoint Debananda Konwar as the new governor of the state, replacing D.Y. Patil who will take over as governor of Bihar.
Describing the appointment as “undesirable”, the chief minister said the Union home ministry had violated a long-established convention by imposing its choice on the state government without prior consultations.
“The convention is that the home ministry holds discussions with the state government regarding appointment of governors and at times the choices of the state government are respected. But this time nothing of this sort has been done. I have just been informed that Debananda Konwar will be our governor while D.Y Patil will now be the governor of Bihar. This is a total violation of the spirit of federalism through which the country should be governed,” Sarkar said last night at the state secretariat.
He said he was totally unaware of the new governor’s appointment until the issuance of the presidential notification in Delhi.
“During my 15-year stint as chief minister, I have seen the home minister himself speak to the chief minister on the matter of appointment of governors. A list of names are sent for the state government’s acceptance and if the state government rejects all the names, new names are sent for state government’s consent. But in this case, all such principles and niceties of procedure have been given a miss” Sarkar said.
He said the Union home minister spoke to him on March 7 and told him about the appointment of the governor. “I could not hear him properly because of mobile reception problems, but then I was told that a new governor would come. I pointed out that the Assembly session would begin on March 15 and the current governor had already prepared his draft speech. I also pointed out that we found it quite easy to work with the current governor and requested the home minister to speak to him, but nothing was done. Only after our residential commissioner at New Delhi’s Tripura Bhawan collected the presidential notification did we come to know of the new appointment,” he said.
He, however, said the Union home ministry had the right to appoint governors but added, “the principle of unilateralism should be given up in favour of federalism”.
On the issue of post-poll violence, Sarkar said the situation was now under control and police and paramilitary forces had been instructed to take action against culprits regardless of party affiliation.
“I personally made an appeal against terror in my speech at the victory rally on March 7 and since then police and paramilitary forces have been under instruction to initiate drastic action. We will not allow anybody to take the law into their own hands,” Sarkar said.