The Telegraph
Saturday , June 28 , 2014
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Staff recall generosity

Governor MK Narayanan with children at the Raj Bhavan garden. File picture

Calcutta, July 27: Governor M.K. Narayanan is likely to resign on July 1 and will leave Bengal on July 4, more than six months before his term ends, Raj Bhavan sources told The Telegraph this evening.

Narayanan’s staff spoke of the generosity of the former national security adviser, who was appointed Bengal governor for a five-year term on January 24, 2010, and said they would miss him.

“Governor saheb has sent a message to the 300-odd Raj Bhavan staff that he would meet them in the Marble Hall for his parting address on July 3, a day before he leaves Raj Bhavan,” an official said.

The staff will give Narayanan “a farewell” the day he meets them, an employee said.

“For over four years, he has been our guardian besides being a tough administrator. We have had free access to governor saheb, who always stood by us. We feel sad that he is leaving us,” he said.

A Raj Bhavan official who has spent 35 years in government service recalled that Narayanan used to distribute Rs 90,000 — nearly a month’s salary for him — among the staff every Puja. Narayanan’s salary is around Rs 1.1 lakh.

“His generous gesture will always remain in my memory,” the official said.

Sources said Narayanan used to accept invitations to Puja inaugurations because they resulted in contributions to the governor’s relief fund.

Narayanan has begun packing and has stopped accepting any engagements or meetings after June 30, except for an appointment with state education minister Partha Chatterjee at 4pm on July 1, an official said.

“I feel sad that he is leaving Raj Bhavan. I have visited him at least 100 times since he assumed office in January 2010, both as Opposition leader and minister,” Chatterjee said over the phone from Puri.

A source said Narayanan had just two scheduled appointments at Raj Bhavan on June 30. Tourism minister Bratya Basu and former acting governor Shyamal Sen will meet him that morning.

The source said Narayanan’s last outside engagement was scheduled tomorrow: he would speak at an event organised at the Indian Museum by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, where its chairman Dr Karan Singh would deliver the keynote address.

On June 29, the governor will chair a meeting of the Aurobindo Society at 10am.

A source said that some of Narayanan’s relatives might arrive at Raj Bhavan in a day or two. They will accompany him and wife Padmini back to Chennai on July 4.

“On July 2, we shall despatch his belongings in half-a-dozen trucks to his Chennai home,” a Raj Bhavan official said.

A source said Narayanan had indicated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 6 that he was willing to quit before his tenure ended. Subsequently, Union home secretary Anil Goswami phoned Narayanan to discuss the exit plan.

Narayanan then wrote to Union home minister Rajnath Singh that he would need a few days to tie up loose ends before he resigned, the source said.