Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: The West Bengal Legislative Assembly on Monday passed the West Bengal University Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022 that sought to replace Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the chancellor of all state-run universities.
The Bill was passed in the legislative assembly after 182 members voted in favour of the legislation and 40 against it in the 294-member Assembly.
The West Bengal Government after a Cabinet meeting, earlier this month, gave its nod to replace Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and appoint Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the Chancellor of all state-run universities under different departments like Health, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Minority Affairs Department.
The move is seen as a fallout of the long-running battle between Mamata Banerjee and Jagdeep Dhankhar.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal Suvendu Adhikari said he will meet the Governor to discuss the issue.
“Education comes under the concurrent list. I will meet Governor next Monday on the issue and will request to send it to Delhi (for the consideration of the President),” he said.
He has also alleged false voting in the assembly during the passage of the Bill.
Reacting to this, state Education Minister Bratya Basu said, “About the opposition, I have nothing to say. We have brought a Bill to change our Governor from the post of the chancellor only. We offered and suggested that Chief Minister will be the chancellor and the whole house accepted it. Now we are sending it to Governor.”
“Why can’t the chief minister be the chancellor of state universities if the Prime Minister is the chancellor of a central university- Visva Bharati? You can go through the recommendations of the Punchhi Commission,” he added.
According to the opposition, appointing the chief minister as chancellor would lead to direct “political interference” in the state’s higher education system. (ANI)