Madhya Pradesh governor Ram Naresh Yadav’s refusal to quit in spite of a police complaint against him in a multi-crore scam has puzzled legal experts and political experts alike, especially after reports that the home ministry had asked him to go.
The governor’s reticence is intriguing because the Centre has a tenable legal option to dismiss him from the post. So is Yadav buying time to find the best way for an honorable exit? And why is the Union government not showing him the door?
Legal experts feel Yadav has no option left but to resign in wake of the charges faced by him. Yadav doesn’t want to take any step before meeting President Pranab Mukherjee but hasn’t got an appointment yet, sources added.
Analysts said Yadav will try to explain his position and innocence to the President before quitting. This would allow him to find a moral high ground for the resignation, they added.
For now, he remains in Raj Bhavan, not meeting anyone.
Sources said the governor wasn’t willing to quit while being in Bhopal to avoid detention or being questioned by the special task force (STF) in connection with the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam.
The STF recently named Yadav among 100 people in the MPPEB scam for allegedly recommending five candidates for recruitment as forest guards and taking Rs 4 lakh from each of the job aspirants. He is also under pressure to quit from the opposition Congress, which has run a sustained campaign to oust him.
The scandal allegedly saw candidates bribe officials, rig examinations by deploying imposters to write test papers and supply forged answer sheets during the recruitment process conducted by the state-run board between 2012 and 2013. More than 1,800 arrests have been made so far.
“He is trying to find a way to exit honourably. He needn’t worry about arrest because many of the 100 accused are yet to be arrested or questioned. May be he is just looking to tell the President he is innocent before he puts in his papers,” political observer Girija Shankar said.
Yadav is likely to cite his long ‘blotless’ political career, where he held several important posts including that of the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, to bolster his plea of innocence, Shankar added.
Sources said Yadav – appointed governor by the previous UPA government in 2011 – has close ties with home minister Rajnath Singh and they live in the same neighbourhood in Lucknow. This, they said, explained why the Union ministry was going slow on the case as it was allowing the governor enough time for a dignified exit.