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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Govt goes after UPA's appointees in key panels

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 19, 2014
First Published: 15:06 IST(19/6/2014) | Last Updated: 02:46 IST(20/6/2014)

The Centre, continuing with its move to clear Raj Bhawans of UPA appointees, on Thursday asked all members of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Council of Women (NCW) to resign.

The move came on a day President Pranab Mukherjee accepted the resignation of Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt, the second governor to have quit this week following a nudge. Many other governors have dug in their heels.

Vice chairman of NDMA M Shashidhar Reddy told HT that he had sent across his resignation to the PM the day the results were declared. But NDMA members – retired police officers and bureaucrats – had stayed put.

The NDMA is headed by the PM and the vice chairman enjoys the rank of a cabinet minister while other members enjoy the rank of a Union minister of state.

K Salim Ali, a 1978-batch IPS officer who as CBI special director investigated the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case of Gujarat, is among the five NDMA members to have quit. The members resigned on Thursday, a day after home secretary Anil Goswami called them up and advised them to submit their resignations.
 
“This is a body headed by the PM and he should be given the freedom to select his new team,” he said, insisting that there was “no controversy” on the resignations.

Reddy said he was still holding charge as such an important body should not be headless and waiting for his replacement to be named. “There can’t be a vacuum in such an important body”.

For now, the NCW chairperson Mamata Sharma and National Commission for Scheduled Caste head PL Punia aren’t going to make it as easy for the government. Both have made it clear that they weren’t going to play ball and quit.

Instead, the NCW chairperson has taken up the rape charge against union minister from Rajasthan Nihalchand and declared that she would write to the PM seeking his dismissal after his name cropped up in a rape case. Nihalchand hails from Rajasthan, which is also Sharma’s home state.


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