Aziz Qureshi, who was sacked as Governor of Mizoram Saturday, has challenged the Centre to order a judicial inquiry into allegations of misconduct during his earlier posting in Uttarakhand, saying he is willing to be hanged in a public square if found guilty.
“I have heard that today, something has appeared in the newspapers. It is all false, bogus, baseless, mischievous, malicious and deliberately done to malign my image,” Qureshi said in an interview.
“I challenge the Government of India to appoint a single bench, double bench or triple bench authority full of Supreme Court judges. If they find the allegations true, they can hang me in a public square. I will renounce politics and public life,” he said.
While terming allegations of him inappropriately dealing with Uttarakhand Raj Bhavan Golf Club and extending terms of two university V-C’s as “bogus and humbug”, he said any alleged impropriety with the use of the state aircraft might have been a “technical error” on the part of Raj Bhavan staff.
“Every time the plane was summoned, it was requisitioned by the staff, ADC or someone from Raj Bhavan for my official tours, only for my official tours. It might have happened that when I am going somewhere, my family, relatives or friends might have come with me. But it was never objected to. It was always informed. There might have been a technical error from one of my officers, but I never personally got involved,” he said.
Soon after his swearing-in at Aizawl’s Raj Bhavan on January 9, Qureshi had said at a that he did not consider the state “a dumping ground” and he would not resign as some others before him had done. “I said the same words during the Governor’s conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” he said.
Asked if he has been officially told why he was sacked, he replied, “No, nothing.”
“My petition is pending in the Supreme Court. In no civilised society and no civilised administrative venture, it is known that when a case is with the highest judicial authority of the country, which has announced the forming of a five-member constitutional bench to hear it, an order like this is issued. I have full faith in the SC. Whatever it rules, I will bow my head before it,” he added.
“I stand by my predecessor Vakkom Purushothaman’s statement that Governors cannot to be treated like clerks. Such treatment degrades the post. It is a constitutional post, and even during my posting in Uttarakhand, you can ask anyone from the BJP or the RSS, ask them on oath if I was in any way partial,” he said.
Asked about his experience in Mizoram, he replied, “People are affectionate, straightforward, friendly and disciplined. I wish I could stay here longer.”