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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

UP governor quits, other UPA picks may follow soon

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 17, 2014
First Published: 14:40 IST(17/6/2014) | Last Updated: 01:27 IST(18/6/2014)

Uttar Pradesh governor BL Joshi resigned from his post on Tuesday amid reports that a number of governors appointed by the previous UPA government had been asked to quit.

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Television reports claimed home secretary Anil Goswami had called up seven governors and asked them to put in their papers.

Joshi (78), a retired Indian Police Service officer, was the Uttar Pradesh governor since 2009 and had enjoyed a good relationship with two successive chief ministers, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav.

In Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala governor Sheila Dikshit declined to comment on media reports that the Centre had sounded the governors appointed by the previous UPA government to step down.

"I can't react to rumours", Dikshit said. She was appointed as Kerala governor in March this year.

Read: At receiving end, Congress finds fault with tradition of removing governors

HT had reported on May 5 at least half-a-dozen Congress governors could be removed if a BJP-led government came to power after the general elections.

On Tuesday, Rajasthan governor Margaret Alva called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fuelling rumours that she would quit soon. The Prime Minister's Office, however, claimed the meeting was just a courtesy call by Alva. The Rajasthan governor also sought a meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee.

Though nothing has been officially disclosed, it is understood that other governors who have been nudged to quit may include MK Narayanan (West Bengal) and Kamla Beniwal (Gujarat).

It was learnt from reliable sources that the BJP, both at the national and the state level, was not satisfied with Narayanan as several of their pleas against the ruling Trinamool Congress went unheard since 2011 in West Bengal.

Karnataka governor HR Bhardawaj, who like Beniwal did not share a good rapport with the BJP government in the state, called on the President on Tuesday.

Assam governor, JB Patnaik, who also met the President told reporters that he had not resigned. "If there is a rumour (about his resignation) I cannot help," he said.

Patnaik, a former Congress chief minister of Odisha, said meeting the President, who is his friend, did not mean that he was resigning.

Meanwhile, home minister and president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Rajnath Singh, said he would have quit too had he been in place of the UPA-appointed governors, according to NDTV.

The Samajwadi Party slammed the reported move by BJP government to replace some of the governors, saying it was start of "saffronisation" of the country which was "dangerous" for democracy.

"Centre is trying saffronise the country by appointing RSS and BJP men as governors in states. This is dangerous for democracy," SP national general secretary Naresh Agarwal said.

In its report published days before the Lok Sabha elections concluded, HT reported the BJP would remove governors it thought played a "partisan role" during their tenure.

Governors finding themselves out of favour with the BJP-led Centre would be identical to the exercise undertaken in 2004 — after the NDA was voted out — by the Congress-led government, which dismissed several governors with "RSS background".

Those who faced the axe then included Vishnu Kant Shastri (Uttar Pradesh), Kailashpati Mishra (Gujarat), Babu Parmanand (Haryana) and Kidar Nath Sahani (Goa).

The BJP had recently demanded the recall of the Maharashtra governor for "going out of the way" to deny the CBI permission to prosecute former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh housing society scam.

(With inputs from Agencies)


Others who may be in line of fire:

  •  Kerala governor Sheila Dikshit (former Delhi CM)

  •  Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan (former Kerala minister)

  •  Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal (former Rajasthan minister)

  •  Jharkhand governor Syed Ahmed (former Maharashtra minister)

  •  Punjab governor Shivraj Patil

  •  Uttarakhand governor Aziz Qureshi (former Congress MP)

  •  Rajasthan governor Margaret Alva (a former Union minister)

  •  Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah (former Andhra CM)


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