A BJP delegation, under senior party leader LK Advani, is expected to meet President Pratibha Patil on Friday to demand recall of Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal for appointing lokayukta in the state without consulting the chief minister Narendra Modi. The post had been lying vacant since 2003.
The BJP has charged the governor of violating the federal character of the Constitution by making such an unilateral appointment. Gujarat Ggovernor Kamla Beniwal recently appointed justice RA Mehta as state lokayukta. Mehta has spoken against the Narendra Modi government in the past. BJP had earlier stalled Parliament over this issue and demanded Beniwal's immediate removal.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking him to recall Dr Kamla Beniwal.
Modi's letter came in the wake of BJP's demand that the governor be recalled. In the letter, he accused the governor of violating "constitutional norms and federal structure" and usurping the powers of the executive.
The state has also moved the high court challenging the appointment, in response to which Raj Bhawan had issued a notification, invoking special powers vested with the governor.
The court will hear the case on September 5.
Sources in Raj Bhavan said according to legal experts, the governor could make the appointment since the state was not cooperating in the matter. Also, the chief justice of the Gujarat high court had suggested the name of the incumbent.
The state Lokayukta Act maintains the state government has no role to play in the selection and appointment of lokayukta, since he is mandated to examine complaints of corruption against the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues.