Barely three months after transferring him to Mizoram, the Narendra Modi government on Saturday sacked governor Aziz Qureshi who had resisted previous attempts to ease him out of the gubernatorial office.
Qureshi, 74, was the sixth governor appointed to the Aizawl Raj Bhavan after the Modi-led government came to power last May, and the second to have been axed. Former Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal, 87 — who had a running feud with Modi when he was the Gujarat chief minister — was the first. She was appointed Mizoram governor last July, and dismissed the next month.
Saturday’s presidential order leaves only a few governors appointed by the UPA regime including Madhya Pradesh’s Ram Naresh Yadav and Jharkhand’s Syed Ahmed in office.
But the government hasn’t been as quick to appoint new ones.
Keshari Nath Tripathi — named as Mizoram’s 7th governor in 10 months – is already governor of West Bengal, Bihar and Meghalaya. Nagaland governor PB Acharya similarly also holds charge for Assam and Tripura. Uttarakhand governor KK Paul also holds charge of Manipur too, over 1,600km away.
The Congress leader’s ouster from the gubernatorial office has been on the cards for months. Last year, he had rebuffed the home ministry that nudged him to quit and moved the Supreme Court against the move.
The Modi government has used the appointment to the Mizoram Raj Bhavan to persuade UPA-appointed governors to quit – a move that has drawn flak from the Opposition.