Indicating that the BJP government wants Governors appointed by the UPA to step down, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said had he been in their place he would have stepped down immediately. This came on a day Uttar Pradesh Governor B L Joshi’s resignation was accepted, triggering speculation that more Governors appointed by the previous government were likely to go in the coming days.
On being asked if the UPA-appointed Governors should step down, Singh said, “If I had been in their place, I would have stepped down.” A spokesperson for Singh later tried to play down the remark, saying it has been quoted out of the context.
Senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said there was nothing wrong if the Governors appointed by the previous government are asked to resign. “This is is not a new tradition. When UPA government came to power in 2004, they had also asked for resignations of the Governors appointed by the NDA Government,” ANI quoted Rudy as saying. “I think this tradition should be accepted as it is in accordance with all the democratic procedures and rules.”
The Home Minister also confirmed that the government had received Joshi’s resignation. Home Ministry officials said Joshi’s resignation was forwarded to the PMO and accepted later in the day. Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi will hold additional charge of the state for now.
The presence of at least three Governors appointed by the UPA in Delhi fuelled speculation of more resignations. However, Home Ministry officials denied reports that any other Governor had resigned.
While Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was described as a “courtesy call”, Assam Governor J B Patnaik and Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj, after separate meetings with President Pranab Mukherjee, dismissed reports that they were resigning.
President’s Press Secretary Venu Rajamony said, “I have no information on any of the Governors have resigned so far.”
The Indian Express on June 6 first reported that the Prime Minister’s Office has sought details of eight Governors who are set to complete their tenure in coming months. The list provided by the Home Ministry included the names of Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal, who had had run-ins with Modi in his previous capacity as chief minister. She is likely to retire by November this year.
Among the other names were Bhardwaj, who will complete his term by the end of this month, Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia, Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt, Assam Governor J B Patnaik, and Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil. The names in the list were associated with Congress in various roles during their active years of politics.
Home Ministry sources said the list submitted to the PMO does continued…