Freedom to express views is a golden gift of the Constitution and intolerance for it in any form can destroy the democratic fabric of the country, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar said on Sunday.
Dhankar's comments came close on the heels of West Bengal Congress spokesman Sanmoy Bandopadhyay's arrest over alleged criticism of the TMC government and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on social media.
The governor, who has been on a collision course with the Trinamool Congress government in the state since he 'rescued' Union minister Babul Supriyo from the grip of agitating students of Jadavpur University here, called for "decent ways" to disagree over a matter.
"Expressions of your view point is a golden gift of the Constitution and its intolerance in any form is destructive of democracy. Let's learn decent ways to disagree one another. Intolerance by structured mechanism is painfully worrying (sic)," the governor said without naming anyone.
Dhankar, who took over as the Governor of West Bengal on July 30, had 'rescued' Supriyo last month from a section of agitating students at JU, who tried to stop the Union minister from attending an ABVP programme.
TMC leaders had alleged that the governor, who is also the chancellor of the varsity, visited the campus without taking the state government into confidence.
A fresh war of words erupted last week, when TMC minister Subrata Mukherjee criticised Dhankar for seeking a security cover upgrade without consulting the state.
Bandopadhyay's arrest on Thursday sparked outrage among all major opposition parties in Bengal.
A section of BJP leaders visited his residence on Saturday to express solidarity with him.
Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, had on Friday condemned the TMC government move and said, "The arrest of Bandopadhyay is a classic example of intolerance of the highest order. Sanmay was arrested from his home for criticising the state government.
"Such blatant attack on the freedom of speech and expression will not stop us from protesting against the ruling dispensation. We condemn such undemocratic assault on freedom of speech," Chowdhury had said.
Reacting to his allegations, senior TMC leader and party chief whip in West Bengal Assembly, Nirmal Ghosh, said, "Bandopadhyay has been arrested as there are several criminal charges against him. It has nothing to do with criticism of the state government.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)