In a further offensive against the Gujarat governor, chief minister Narendra Modi has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking him to recall Dr Kamla Beniwal.
Beniwal had recently bypassed the Modi government and appointed Justice RA Mehta as the state Lokayukta. The post had been lying vacant since 2003.
Modi's letter comes 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.