In another signal to politicians appointed governors by the previous UPA government, Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal was transferred to Mizoram for the remainder of her term.
Beniwal had been involved in a long tussle with the Gujarat government then led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the appointment of Lokayukta in the state and the matter had gone to court. The 89-year-old Beniwal, whose tenure ends in November, also sat over legislations passed by the state Assembly, one of which provided for 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies.
Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva will discharge the functions of the governor of Gujarat alongside her duties for now. Alva’s term ends in a month.
Vakkom Purushothaman, the current governor of Mizoram, has been transferred to Nagaland. He will continue to hold additional charge as governor of Tripura.
The Modi government at the Centre had earlier sent feelers to all governors appointed by the UPA regime that they should step down to make way for new appointments. While former bureaucrats like M K Narayanan (West Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B L Joshi (Uttar Pradesh), Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) and B V Wanchoo (Goa) have already stepped down, H R Bhardwaj (Karnataka) and Devanand Konwar (Tripura) were allowed to stay in the post till their tenure ended last month.
The political appointees to the post though have dug in their heels. Those who have refused to toe the Centre’s line include K Sankaranarayanan (Maharashtra), Sheila Dikshit (Kerala), Jaganath Pahadia (Haryana) and Shivraj Patil (Punjab).
Party gives them 48 hours to respond.