DAYS AFTER the Election Commission wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind about Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) with his remark that Narendra Modi should be re-elected as the Prime Minister, the President has forwarded the communication to the Home Ministry.
The file was sent to the Home Ministry after the President returned Thursday from a state visit to Croatia, Bolivia and Chile. There was no official comment from Rashtrapati Bhavan but sources said the President has forwarded the EC’s communication “as is routine”.
According to the Constitution, the President will take a decision based on the advice of the government. The Home Ministry is the administrative authority for Governors who are appointed by the President under Article 156 of the Constitution.
“The letter has been forwarded. Now it is for the government to take a call on the matter and advise the President accordingly,” sources said.
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Home Ministry sources said they will seek legal opinion. “The President may accept the Ministry’s advice or consult his legal team before taking a final call,” a senior official said.
On March 23, Singh said in Aligarh that everyone wanted Modi to win and that it was necessary for the country.
“Hum sabhi log BJP ke karyakarta hai aur iss naatey se hum zaroor chahengey ke BJP vijai ho. Sab chahengey ek baar phir sey kendra mein Modiji pradhanmantri banein. Modiji ka pradhanmantri banna ye desh ke liye avashyak hai, samaaj ke liye avashyak hai (We are all BJP workers, so we will want the BJP to win. Everyone will want Modi to become PM again. Modi becoming PM is necessary for the nation and society),” Singh had said.
The last time a Governor was found violating the Code was in the early 1990s when Gulsher Ahmad, the then Governor of Himachal Pradesh, was pulled up by the EC for campaigning for his son Sayeed Ahmed in Madhya Pradesh. He quit the post when the Commission expressed displeasure over the misuse of official machinery for his son’s poll campaign.
In 2016, when the Supreme Court overturned the then Arunachal Pradesh Governor J P Rajhowa’s decision to sack the Nabam Tuki government and appoint Kalikho Pul as Chief Minister, the Governor had dug his heels in. He is said to have finally resigned after the then President Pranab Mukherjee privately made it known to the government that the Governor’s position had become untenable following the judgment.
(With Rahul Tripathi)