Governors’ issue: PM meets Kalam
New Delhi, June 30
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil had a 50-minute meeting with the President tonight in this connection. Government sources said the PM and the Home Minister had specifically met the President to make a case for the removal of Governors in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Goa, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The two leaders are learnt to have cited a 1990 Law Ministry opinion which states that the Central government is well within its constitutional rights to sack Governors.
In this particular instance, the UPA government was forced to take this extreme step since the NDA-appointed Governors refused to put in their papers after the BJP decided to make this a political issue.
It is learnt that Home Ministry officials had rung up the secretaries to UP Governor Vishnukant Shastri; Haryana Governor Bhai Parmanand; Gujarat Governor Kailashpati Mishra and Bihar Governor Rama Jois, informing them about the Centre’s decision to replace them.
The officials were told to tell their respective Governors that they put in their papers on their own accord. Except Mr N.N. Jha, Pondicherry Lieut-Governor, the others made it abundantly clear that they were in no mood to quit.
Government sources said the NDA government had dismissed the Gujarat, Goa and Mizoram Governors in 1998. The BJP, however, maintains that they had taken this step since these Governors were appointed by a caretaker government.