Appointment Of New Bengal Governor Puts Apprehensive Trinamool In ‘Wait & Watch’ Mode

Appointment Of Noted Bureaucrat C V Ananda Bose As New Bengal Governor Puts Apprehensive Trinamool In ‘Wait & Watch’ Mode

by Swarajya Staff - Friday, November 18, 2022 11:49 AM IST
Appointment Of Noted Bureaucrat C V Ananda Bose As New Bengal Governor Puts Apprehensive Trinamool In ‘Wait & Watch’ ModeC V Ananda Bose

The appointment of former bureaucrat C V Ananda Bose as the Bengal Governor has evoked mixed reactions from political parties in the state. 

While the principal opposition party, the BJP, has welcomed the appointment of a full-time Governor, the ruling Trinamool Congress has issued a guarded response. 

The 71-year-old Bose, a Kerala cadre IAS officer who belongs to the 1977 batch, had joined the BJP in 2018.

He had held a few advisory positions in the party and was tasked with carrying out a SWOT analysis of the party in Kerala. 

Bose won a lot of acclaim during his career as a bureaucrat and served as secretary to key ministries at the federal level and also as chief secretary.

He was part of Prime Minister Modi’s working group that prepared a roadmap for rollout of the ‘affordable housing’ scheme. 

Bose was also appointed to a single-member commission that framed a policy of labourers, including expats.

He was serving as an advisor to the Meghalaya government. A prolific writer, he has authored 32 books in English, Hindi and Malayalam. 

Bose hails from an illustrious family in Mannanam in Kerala’s Kottayam district. His father, P K Vasudevan Nair, was a well-known freedom fighter.

A postgraduate in English from Kerala University, Bose also holds a PhD from BITS Pilani. 

He founded movements and is considered to be an expert in affordable housing, good governance, science & technology, agriculture, rural development, tourism and education.

He represented India at CERN (French acronym for ‘European Council for Nuclear Research) at Geneva and at the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in France.  

Bose is the chairman of ‘Habitat alliance’ which enjoys a consultative status with the United Nations and is also a member of the UN Habitat Governing Council. The UN had selected his initiatives as ‘Best Global Practices’ four times. 

The initiatives by Bose in low-cost housing, tourism (he introduced the first houseboat in Kerala), micro-credit, healthcare, agriculture, women’s empowerment, water conservation and organic farming while he was serving as a bureaucrat in Kerala have been emulated across the country. 

Bose is also remembered for the strong steps he took to crack down on corruption in various agencies and departments he served in. He is known to be a strict disciplinarian and a stickler for rules and norms.  

The Governor-designate has a long association with Kolkata. Before joining the IAS, he worked for a public sector bank and was posted in Kolkata. He worked out of the bank’s branches in Chowringhee (Kolkata’s central business district) and Shyambazar in the northern part of the city. He stayed in south Kolkata at that time. 

Bose was in Kolkata recently to address a conference on low cost and environment-friendly housing. Former Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu had invited him to Kolkata once to give a demonstration on low-cost housing models.

The former bureaucrat, who is deeply spiritual, is soft spoken but a strict disciplinarian. His associates told Swarajya that he doesn’t take kindly to indiscipline and wrongdoing. “He has a strong moral compass and doesn’t accept any wrongdoing on anyone’s part. He is polite but firm and has a very strong personality,” said a former bureaucrat colleague. 

This, obviously, makes the Trinamool apprehensive. “A Governor who will not tolerate any wrongdoing is bad news for Mamata Banerjee and her party. He (the new Governor) will definitely object to the many scams and loot of the public exchequer going on in Bengal,” said a senior BJP leader. 

The Trinamool would have liked the interim arrangement of Manipur Governor La Ganesan holding temporary charge of Bengal to continue. Ganesan was given additional charge of Bengal after then Governor Jagdeep Dhankar was nominated as a candidate for the Vice-President’s post by the BJP in July this year. 

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had struck a very good rapport with Ganesan in stark contrast to the testy ties she had with Dhankar. Banerjee had crossed swords with Dhankar innumerable times over the latter’s objections to many misdeeds and acts of omission and commission by the state government and Trinamool leaders. 

Mamata Banerjee had even attended a family function of Governor Ganesan in Chennai earlier this month, raising many eyebrows (read this). 

BJP leaders in Bengal who have been demanding the appointment of a full-time Governor ever since the departure of Dhankar are happy. “Bose is a good choice. He is accomplished and knows very well how the government works. The chief minister and her ministers or pet bureaucrats cannot mislead him. I’m confident he will perform the role of a strict guardian of the Constitution,” said leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikary. 

This is precisely what makes the Trinamool very uncomfortable. It would have preferred a pliant person at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata. Bose, much to the Trinamool’s discomfiture, is anything but pliant. And the fact that he is so closely associated with the BJP will definitely be giving Mamata Banerjee sleepless nights. 

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