Breaking his silence over his transfer from Mizoram to Nagaland, Governor Vakkom B Purushothaman on Tuesday said Governors “cannot be treated like clerks” and that he plans to resign in protest on July 11.
“Governors must be given more importance. Theirs is a constitutional office. They cannot be treated like clerks, transferring them here and there. It is not fair to transfer them as they are doing now without their consent. If they had asked me to resign I would have not done so. But now they have transferred me, and without my consent. So as a mark of protest I will resign,” Purushothaman told The Indian Express.
Purushothaman, who took over as Mizoram Governor on September 2011, will be the first politician-turned-Governor to resign as all others who left office after the BJP came to power at the Centre are former bureaucrats. His resignation would mean both Nagaland and Tripura, which he currently holds additional charge of, would be without Governor for the time being.
The 86-year-old will send in his papers from his home state Kerala. He will go to Chennai for a medical check-up on Wednesday, and then proceed to Thiruvananthapuram, the city he hails from. He won’t be returning to Aizawl on July 18, as planned earlier.
Purushothaman’s exit from Mizoram will coincide with the arrival on Wednesday of Governor Kamla Beniwal, who has been shunted out of Gujarat where she had several tussles with the state government when Narendra Modi was the chief minister.
Beniwal will fly from Ahmedabad and is expected to land in Aizawl’s Lengpui Airport at 1 pm, half an hour after Purushothaman’s flight is scheduled for departure. The state government has tentatively scheduled 9 am Thursday for Beniwal’s swearing-in ceremony as Mizoram Governor. Her term ends in November.
The state government will hold a small farewell ceremony for Purushothaman at Lengpui Airport on Wednesday. Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla will miss the ongoing assembly session to attend the ceremony and also to welcome Beniwal, according to a CMO official.
When asked if he had any parting message for the people of Mizoram, Purushothaman said Mizos are “one of the most peace-loving people” and the most literate after the people of Kerala. “Like Kerala and other states with high-literacy rates, Mizoram too will face the problem of unemployment among educated youths, and Mizo youths too will need to explore the world in search of work,” he said.
Kiran Bedi tried to establish her credentials as a secular, pro-women candidate.