Over 80 employees of the Shillong Raj Bhavan, from officers to peons, have sent a five-page letter to the Prime Minister’s Office and to Rashtrapati Bhavan demanding the immediate removal of Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan.
They have alleged that “his activities (have) hurt the decorum and prestige of the Raj Bhavan as well as sentiments of the Raj Bhavan employees.” The “activities,” as mentioned in the letter, include “seriously compromis(ing) the dignity” of Raj Bhavan, converting it into a “young ladies’ club”, causing severe humiliation, mental stress and torture” to employees.
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Shanmuganathan, 68, a veteran RSS activist from Tamil Nadu, joined as Governor on May 20, 2015, following which he was also given additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh from September 16, 2016 after JP Rajkhowa was removed. He was also in charge of Manipur from September 2015 to August 2016.
“The worst problem is that the Raj Bhavan has now under this Governor become a place where young ladies come and go at will with direct orders from the Governor. The security of the Governor’s house is also being seriously compromised,” alleges the letter, a copy of which is with The Indian Express.
While Shanmuganathan is currently in Itanagar because he also holds additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh, he could not be contacted despite several attempts.
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H M Shangpliang, secretary to the Governor, said Shanmuganathan had interacted with the Shillong Press Club through teleconferencing on Tuesday evening from Itanagar during which he denied the allegations already carried in The Highland Post on January 24. “You may use his quotes from other newspapers,” he said.
The Highland Post quoted an unnamed woman who had appeared for an interview in early December for a PRO’s post at Raj Bhavan.
The newspaper quoted her as saying that the Governor allegedly made advances “by hugging and kissing her.” The newspaper quoted the Governor as denying the allegations and saying that woman employees of Raj Bhavan were like his “daughters and grand-daughters.”
The Shillong Times quoted the Governor as saying: “I wanted to meet them (the job aspirants) before finalising the candidates and they all came. Everyone was there for half an hour. I have got great respect for everyone. I have not done anything wrong.”
Denying allegations that he had made physical overtures or inappropriately complimented the woman, he was also reported as saying: “No it is not right. all these things are not right. We have selected only one person and some people were not selected and because they were not selected they should not say all these things.”