"The institution of governor is a high office. It is true that for the first time in the history of independent India an incumbent governor had gone to the CBI office for facing grilling on 'questions on graft'."
Kolkata/New Delhi, June 30 - West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan has resigned, becoming the fourth governor 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, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee told the media that the 79-year-old Narayanan's last day at work will be Friday.
The resignation -- not confirmed by Raj Bhavan or Narayanan, who was in Kolkata only - came days after 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).
Banerjee said she would not comment now on the constitutional post.
This is a constitutional post. Now I won't say anything on it, she told media persons while disclosing that Narayanan would officially leave July 4.
Banerjee said the state government would not accord a farewell to Narayanan. I don't believe in giving farewell. Rather I believe in welcoming a person, she said.
Iterating that the state government was deeply pained by Narayanan's sudden resignation, Chatterjee made an oblique criticism of the Narendra Modi-led central government, which is said to have prodded Narayanan 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. He had over six months left to complete his tenure.
There was persistent speculation 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 questioning 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 an incumbent governor had gone to the CBI 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.