Governor starts self-imposed blackout in Raj Bhavan

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Kolkata, May 7 (UNI) West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi started a self-imposed blackout in the Raj Bhavan today, leaving the Left leaders embarrassed and wry, and even raising questions whether Governors were at all needed in the country.

The palatial Raj Bhavan went out of power at 180 hrs for two hours in keeping with the wishes of the Governor, who had announced yesterday that he would have a two-hour of blackout in his residence everyday as a mark of solidarity with the people, being afflicted by regular power cuts.

Perhaps taking it as an indirect dig at the efficiency of the state administration, CPI(M) state Secretary and Polit Bureau member Biman Basu called for reviewing the role of Governors in a country like India. '' ....after 60 years of independence, there should be a review of the Governors' role. There should be a nationwide debate on why we are still having Governors and whether these posts are necessary,'' he told reporters.

While Transport Minister Subhash Chakraborty was sarcastic in seeking to encourage the rigourism of the Governor, CITU state President and CPI(M) Central Committee member Shyamal Chakraborty suggested that the state's first citizen leave his palace to make room for the homeless.

''The Govenornor's decision is welcome. Now the people will expect that he leaves his palatial residence so that the poor and the slum dwellers can take shelter there,'' he said.

Mr Chakraborty pointed out that Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and few of his Ministerial colleagues were living in small two-room flats and the Governor, with his small family, should not find any difficulty in emulating them.

Mr.Chakraborty also suggested that the Governor gives away a major share of his 'huge' salary for the welfare projects and stops using his official vehicle to save fuel while visiting places for attending various functions.

A surprised Power Minister Mrinal Banerjee said, ''If a person chooses to have a single meal because of food crisis, what can we do?'' The last time the Governor invited the wrath of the ruling Left was during the Nandigram turmoil, when he issued a statement saying the administration failed to properly handle the situation.


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