Union home secretary Anil Goswami admitted calling up Uttarakhand governor Aziz Qureshi to put in his papers, but only after he courted needless controversy by making ‘insensitive’ statements about a rape case in Uttar Pradesh. The comments also embarrassed the state government as it questioned the state’s ability to protect its subjects, Goswami added.
In an affidavit before the Supreme Court, Goswami denied Qureshi’s allegations that he threatened him to resign.
Qureshi has moved SC challenging the Narendra Modi’s move to ease him out of the Governor’s office. The constitutional questions raised in the petition have been referred to a larger bench.
Goswami filed a personal affidavit before the top court saying as a nodal officer it was his duty to interact with state governors on regular basis. He blamed Qureshi for lowering “the dignity” of a constitutional office at a time when he was holding additional charge of UP after BL Joshi resigned from governorship. He added Qureshi’s statement showed his “poor taste” while commenting on serious issues.
During a press conference on July 21, Qureshi had said that police, army and even gods can’t prevent rape incidents. He also raised concern over the law and order situation in UP, saying it was dismal. Qureshi further went on to say that rape incidents could not be stopped or prevented.
A day later he relinquished the charge taken over by senior BJP leader Ram Naik.
“Governor is not expected to be involved in any issue which would invite adverse criticism and lower the dignity of the office of the governor,” Goswami stated in his affidavit, refuting Qureshi’s charges that the present dispensation had forced governors appointed during the UPA regime to resign.
Goswami added Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal was the only one who was asked to step down, while other resigned on their own volition.