"The institution of governor is a high office. It is true that for the first time in the history of independent India that an incumbent governor had gone to the CBIO office for facing grilling on 'questions on graft'."
Kolkata/New Delhi, June 30 - West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan has resigned, becoming the fourth appointed by the erstwhile UPA regime to quit before the end of their term since the BJP-led government took office last month.
Confirming the development, state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee told the media that the 79-year-old Narayanan's last day of work will be Friday.
The resignation -- not confirmed by the Raj Bhavan or Narayanan, who was in Kolkata only, himself yet - came days after the he was quizzed by the CBI Friday regarding the purchase of AgustaWestland VVIP helicopters by the erstwhile UPA regime when he was the National Security Advisor (NSA).
Saying the state government was deeply pained by Narayanan's sudden resignation, Chatterjee made an oblique criticism of the Narendra Modi central government, which is said to have prodded him to demit office.
What good it will do to the state is a subject for those who made this happen, said the minister.
I am deeply pained at his sudden resignation... We didn't expect this. We have lost a guardian who used to give us advice and used to think about the state.
We will be in touch with him, but it is a matter of regret that he won't be involved in the state's activities, said Chatterjee.
Narayanan, a former Intelligence Bureau chief who was appointed NSA to the prime minister in January 2005 by the United Progressive Alliance government, took over as the West Bengal governor Jan 24, 2010.
There were persistent speculations about the 1955 batch Indian Police Service officer's resignation from the post since union Home Secretary Anil Goswami earlier this month reportedly made telephone calls to Narayanan and his counterparts in some other states, in an apparent move to nudge some UPA-appointed governors to step down.
The three governors who resigned earlier were B.L. Joshi (Uttar Pradesh), Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) and Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland).
The Bharatiya Janata Party said it was upto Narayanan to spell out the reasons for his resignation, but claimed that the quizzing of a sitting governor did not raise the dignity of the august office.
The institution of governor is a high office. It is true that for the first time in the history of independent India that an incumbent governor had gone to the CBIO office for facing grilling on 'questions on graft'.
This does not raise the dignity of the august office. He has resigned today. Why he has resigned is a matter of self-reflection on his part. He can only answer, BJP leader Nalin Kohli told media persons in New Delhi.