Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said her government wants governor C.V. Ananda Bose to give assent to a bill that seeks to make the chief minister chancellor of state universities or return it.
The bill was sent to Raj Bhavan 11 months ago.
The governor is now ex officio chancellor of all state universities in Bengal.
“We got the bill passed in the Assembly. Since the number of universities has increased from 12 to 42, we are facing difficulties. Therefore, the bill was passed,” the chief minister said at a news conference at Nabanna.
“The bill was sent to the governor (for his signature). Either he will send the bill back or will support it. He has neither returned the bill nor supported it. I will tell him if he does not like the bill, he should return the bill so we can have it passed in the Assembly again. Many Assemblies have passed such a bill.”
The chief minister made the comment when reporters referred to the governor’s address at the convocation at Rabindra Bharati University on Monday. Bose had said in his speech: "When there is a crisis, when there's a legal crisis or constitutional crisis or political crisis, a governor should not be like the Hamlet in Shakespeare: 'To be or not to be'....Yes that is what education teaches us".
A senior official in the education department said they are apprehending a legal crisis because of a stalemate between the state government and the governor over an ordinance the education department has decided to promulgate to constitute five-member search committees to shortlist names for the post of vice-chancellor in state universities.
Since the Assembly is not in session, the government had decided to promulgate the ordinance. But the governor is yet to give his consent to it.
“An ordinance can be notified only after the governor approves it. The ordinance on search committees was sent to Raj Bhavan immediately after the state cabinet finalised it on April 17. But the governor has not signed it yet,” the official in the education department said.
The search committee that the government wants to set up for each university will include a nominee of the UGC and a representative each of the education department and the state higher education council. The other two members will be a representative of the university concerned and the governor.
“If the chancellor does not approve the ordinance, the entire process of appointing vice-chancellors will remain in limbo,” another official in the education department said.