Aziz Qureshi, who held three gubernatorial posts before being sacked recently, accused the Centre on Wednesday of trying to coerce him to criticise the administrations of the states he governed in order to benefit the NDA.
Qureshi was appointed the Uttarakhand governor by the Congress-led UPA in 2012 and held the charge for Uttar Pradesh for a brief duration in 2014 before being sent to Mizoram in what was ostensibly a move to politically downsize him.
He was eventually sacked last month after he refused to heed to the union government’s directive to step down.
He said that since the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, NDA, came to power in May 2014, he had been sent ‘feelers’ that needed him to submit reports critical of the Congress government in Uttarakhand and the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh.
“A governor is supposed to send a monthly report to the Centre about the state of affairs in his state. Had there been any shortcoming, I would have sent a report on it anyway. But I didn’t want to be dictated by someone,” Qureshi, a former Congress leader, said during a press conference at the Madhya Pradesh Congress headquarters in Bhopal.
He said that the requests were made by a politician whose identity he would disclose later.
“Things became particularly bad when I signed the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University (Amendment) Bill which had been pending for the past nine years. It was Samajwadi Party leader Mohd Azam Khan’s project,” he said, claiming the BJP did not like it and he started receiving telephone calls.
The BJP state president, who was an MLA, raised a question against him in the state assembly on the issue.
Qureshi, who moved the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s string of gubernatorial transfers, said it was the first time in the country’s history when a governor had to move the apex court.