Attacking the NDA government for “forcing” UPA-appointed governors to quit, former Kerala Governor and three-time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said the new dispensation targeted the holders of the constitutional office “selectively” and “humiliated” them which does not auger well for democracy.
76-year-old Dikshit, who was appointed Kerala Governor by the UPA government in March just before the code of conduct for Lok Sabha polls came into force, said a senior bureaucrat of central government had called her and asked for her resignation.
“The governors must be treated with respect. It is a very dignified and constitutional position. They targeted the governors selectively. It was humiliation of the holders of the constitutional office which is not good for democracy,” she told PTI. Dikshit said if governors should resign when a new dispensation comes to power at the Centre, then a new law providing for such a provision should be enacted.
“I was not thinking about myself. I was only concerned about prestige of the constitutional offices. If governors should go when a new government comes to power at the Centre, then there should be a law. “Parliament should enact a law providing for resignation of governors when a new government takes office,” Dikshit said.
Critical of the NDA government, Dikshit said transferring Kamla Beniwal from the gubernatorial post in Gujarat to Mizoram and then sacking her reflected a “total disregard” for the prestigious office by the NDA government. “Why postings in the Northeast are seen as punishment postings,” Dikshit asked.
87-year-old Beniwal, the former Gujarat Governor, who had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was the state’s Chief Minister, was removed just two months before her tenure was due to end. Asked whether she was told about any imminent transfer if she did not quit as Kerala Governor, Dikshit replied in the negative.
Dikshit had quit as Kerala Governor on August 25 and had become the eighth governor to have resigned since the Modi government came to power on May 26. Six UPA-appointed Governors-—K Sankaranarayanan (Maharashtra), M K Narayanan (West Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B L Joshi (UP), B V Wanchoo (Goa) and Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh)–have already resigned after being nudged by
the NDA government.
V Purushothaman, the Governor of Mizoram, had resigned after he was transferred to Nagaland in July.