Wednesday, July 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Alexander quits
Kapoor may take over as Maharashtra Governor
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 9
Apparently annoyed over not getting the ticket for the Presidential post, Maharashtra Governor P.C. Alexander has tendered his resignation.

The 81-year-old Alexander sent his resignation to the President yesterday, but did not meet Mr Narayanan personally, sources said today.

Mr Alexander in his letter is understood to have requested the President that his resignation be made effective from July 13.

The resignation of Mr Alexander, who served as Governor of Maharashtra for the past nine years, came amidst speculation that he could be made the National Security Adviser or offered a plump Ambassadorial post.

However, sources in the Prime Minister’s Office tonight dismissed them as “mere rumours”.

Mr Alexander, whose name was initially floated for the post of President but withdrawn at the last minute to pave the way for nuclear technologist Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, had reportedly routed his request to contest for the Vice-President’s post as the NDA candidate through Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray, which was turned down. Apparently annoyed over this, Mr Alexander tendered his resignation as Governor.

However, Mr Alexander, who met the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani today, handed over letters to them thanking them for giving him the opportunity to serve as Maharashtra Governor. Mr Alexander, however, refused to give any reasons for his resignation.

Appointed by former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao in 1993, the BJP-led government continued his tenure and formally re-appointed him for another term in the backdrop of good equations he had established with the previous BJP-Shiv Sena government in the state.

Mr Alexander, who quit as Principal Secretary to Rajiv Gandhi after a spying scandal involving some officials of the PMO and Rashtrapati Bhavan, later became High Commissioner in London, a post he had to leave after the National Front came into power in 1989.

Even as a formal acceptance of Mr Alexander’s resignation is awaited from Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Centre is understood to be toying with the idea of shifting Lt-Governor of Delhi Vijai K. Kapoor to Maharashtra as the new Governor, sources said adding a final decision will be taken in due course.

Mr Vijai Kapoor, who retired from the post of Secretary in the Ministry of Defence in September 1996, is a close confidante of Mr Advani. He is being considered for Maharashtra Governorship as there is a strong feeling in the government that his appointment as Maharashtra Governor would be easier as he has been having a smooth relationship with the Congress Government led by Shiela Dikshit in Delhi.


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