M A I N   N E W S

Advani meets PM, decries pressure on
Governors to quit
T.R. Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 26
The Opposition has taken exception to the pressure being put by the Congress-led UPA government on Governors appointed by the previous NDA dispensation having strong BJP-RSS leanings to resign. The Leader of the Opposition, Mr L.K. Advani, and BJP leader of the Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to protest against such moves.

Mr Advani and Mr Singh told the Prime Minister that while the NDA was in power since 1998 they did not disturb the incumbent Governors “most of whom were Congressmen” till they completed their five-year term.

Therefore, the BJP leaders insisted that the UPA government should not “violate this precedent.”

According to BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Mr Advani and Mr Singh impressed upon the Prime Minister that the NDA government had always consulted the Chief Minister concerned in the appointment of Governors. The BJP leaders urged Dr Manmohan Singh to “adhere to this healthy convention which has strengthened federalism.”

Though the meeting between the BJP leaders and the Prime Minister lasted nearly an hour revolving around the continuance of Governors appointed by the erstwhile NDA government, little was forthcoming about Dr Manmohan Singh’s views on the matter.

“Only Dr Manmohan Singh and the two BJP leaders are privy to the discussions,” official sources said.

At the same time authoritative sources observed “it is a political decision and certain BJP Governors whose track record has left much to be desired might have to make their exit.”

However, Congress and Left leaders firmly believe propriety demands that those occupying Raj Bhavans with staunch RSS-BJP background should put in their papers of their own volition.

On its part, the UPA government has already urged secretaries of certain Governors to request the Constitutional head to resign rather than taking the extreme step of having them removed before the completion of their term.

While the Left parties said the Dr Manmohan Singh government is yet to have discussions with them on asking the Governors with RSS leanings to resign, they desired that people of standing, eminence and great integrity who did not have any political patronage or affiliation should be appointed as the Constitutional head of a state.

They insisted that the folly of appointing politicians as governors pursued by the Congress and the BJP while in power must be dispensed with.

The Left parties regretted that when it suited both these political formations, they spoke about the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission recommendations about the appointment of Governors but conveniently give it a go by when it comes to having their agents installed as the Constitutional head of a state.

The Lt-Governor of Pondicherry, Mr N.N. Jha, whose relationship with the Chief Minister was highly turbulent has resigned after the change of government at the Centre.

Other Governors whose tenure hangs tenuously are Vishnu Kant Shastri (UP), Madan Lal Khurana (Rajasthan), Kailaspati Mishra (Gujarat), Babu Parmanand (Haryana), Rama Jois (Bihar) and K.N. Sahani (Goa).


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