Amid opposition charge of political vendetta in the sacking of Mizoram governor Kamla Beniwal, the government said on Thursday that the decision was prompted by "serious allegations" against her and insisted there was no politics behind it.
Beniwal, who had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was Gujarat chief minister, was sacked Wednesday night as governor of Mizoram just two months before her tenure comes to an end.
Law minister Ravishankar Prasad said the move was in accordance with Constitutional principles.
"...the decision to remove Kamla Beniwal, the governor is in accordance with Constitutional principles and conventions with the due approval of the President of India," Prasad told reporters outside Parliament.
He said that if the government has to say anything more, it will be done on the floor of Parliament.
Responding to Congress allegation of political vendetta behind the move, Parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu insisted that there is "no politics" behind the decision.
Read: PM Modi’s bête noire Kamla Beniwal sacked as Mizoram governor
"Action against Mizoram governor is no violation against the Supreme Court's earlier judgement. Action has been taken within rules and within the Constitution. There is no politics behind it," he said.
Pressed further, the minister said, "There are serious allegations. Government has taken note of them and taken action."
He said the President has decided over it after applying his mind thoroughly on it and such decisions are "privilege" of the government.
Reacting to the move, Congress general secretary and communication department chairman Ajay Maken tweeted, "If Governor Kamla Beniwal was to be removed, why was she transferred to Mizoram only a few days back? #Vendetta Politics."
Naidu accused the Congress of doing politics over the issue.
"Congress is trying to derive political mileage out of it," the minister said.
The sacking order brought to an end the gubernatorial tenure of the 87-year-old Congress leader from Rajasthan who battled with the Modi government over the appointment of Lokayukta and some legislations during her tenure in Gujarat.
During her confrontation with Modi, Beniwal appointed retired Justice RA Mehta as Lokayukta in Gujarat against which the state went in appeal to the high court and later the Supreme Court which upheld it last year. However, Justice Mehta did not take up the post and Modi's government named a new nominee.
Beniwal is the second governor to be sacked after the removal of Puducherry Lt Governor Virendra Kataria. Soon after the Modi government assumed office, some governors were forced to resign while a few a resisted and are still in office.
Interestingly, another Congress leader Margaret Alva appointed by the UPA government was allowed to conclude her tenure in Rajasthan.