Kamla Beniwal will be the second Mizoram Governor to leave the state within a month without a formal farewell dinner as per protocol. Like her predecessor Vakkom Purushothaman, Beniwal will be seen off by a Guard of Honour at Lengpui Airport on Friday afternoon, after the President directed her to step down.
She will leave for her home town Jaipur on the same day when Manipur Governor V K Duggal will arrive here to take additional charge.
Given the circumstances of their ousters, both Purushothaman and Beniwal are learnt to have been disinclined to partake in such farewell ceremonies. While Purushothaman had angrily said, “Governors cannot be treated like clerks”, Beniwal refused to publicly comment on her sacking on Wednesday evening. She and her staff at Raj Bhavan in fact learned of the President’s decision from news channels.
The official communication from the Union Home Ministry about her removal from the Governor’s post, which she assumed on July 9, reached the Raj Bhavan at 9.18 pm via fax.
In the 27 days she has spent as Mizoram Governor, Beniwal rarely ventured outside her official residence at Treasury Square, except for official visits to a milk-processing plant and a sericulture farm a day after her arrival, and to an orphanage last week. She had been scheduled to visit a tourist resort at Hmuifang Tlang on Thursday, but it was cancelled due to the recent developments.
Beniwal, 87, has not been keeping well since her arrival and doctors from the Aizawl Civil Hospital have been paying her daily visits. She had also taken a 10-day leave from July 16 and gone home. Her daughter Arunima Choudhury has been by her side ever since she arrived in Mizoram. Other family members, including a sibling and a son, had also arrived with her when she took charge, but they left later on.
With CM Lal Thanhawla on a tour, Home Minister R Lalzirliana will lead a small contingent of government functionaries to see her off at the airport, where her flight to Kolkata is expected to take-off at 3.50 pm. She will stay overnight at Mizoram House in Kolkata’s Salt Lake area and leave for Jaipur on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Manipur Governor V K Duggal will arrive at Lengpui Airport from New Delhi (where is currently on an official trip) at 12.20 pm on Friday and be sworn-in at Raj Bhavan’s Durbar Hall at 5 pm. He is expected to stay till Sunday when he will leave for Imphal. In a statement, the Zoram Nationalist Party applauded Beniwal’s sacking saying she has “wayward political thoughts”.
The least number of women candidates have been fielded by the Congress which has given tickets to just five women contestants.