M A I N   N E W S

Kalam sacks Governors of Haryana, UP, Gujarat, Goa
T.R. Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
After efforts to persuade four Governors appointed by the previous BJP-led NDA government to put in their papers failed, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today dismissed the Constitutional heads of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Goa.

Two other Governors on UPA government's hit list — Rama Jois of Bihar and Madan Lal Khurana of Rajasthan — have come unscathed for the present.

The Governors who have ceased to hold Gubernatorial office are Vishnu Kant Shastri (Uttar Pradesh), Kailashpati Mishra (Gujarat), Kidar Nath Sahni (Goa) and Babu Parmanand (Haryana).

As the UPA government is yet to forward its recommendations on the appointment of fresh Governors, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique issued here said that Governors of adjoining states have been given additional charge of Goa, Gujarat, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Newly appointed Madhya Pradesh Governor Bal Ram Jakhar will hold additional charge as Governor of Gujarat, Maharashtra Governor Mohd Fazal will discharge the functions of the Constitutional head of Goa, Punjab Governor Justice Om Prakash Verma of that of Haryana and Uttaranchal Governor Sudarshan Aggarwal will discharge the functions of the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.

The President invoked powers vested in him under Article 156 (1) of the Constitution. A Governor holds office "during the pleasure of the President" and the Head of State can withdraw that pleasure at any time, emphasised constitutional experts.

The President is bound to act on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers. If the President has any reservation on the advice tendered, he can send it back for reconsideration. However, after such reconsideration if the Council of Ministers sends back the same recommendation, then the President is bound by it.

Mr Kalam tried his best to avoid an ignominous exit for the four Governors. The Government's endeavour to convince the BJP leadership that the Governors appointed by the erstwhile NDA government should resign of their own volition proved to be in vain.

It is in this context that Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil spoke to the Leader of the Opposition and former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani yesterday. Mr Advani expressed regret that as Governor and Constitutional Head of a state, it was no longer a party affair and he could not intervene in the matter. The stage has been set for a political confrontation with the Congress-led UPA on the eve of the Budget session of Parliament which begins on July 5. The BJP and its allies in the NDA have already threatened to take up the “tainted ministers” issue in Parliament. They are contemplating boycotting the Railway budget.

Reacting swiftly, the BJP termed the sacking of the four Governors as “gross Constitutional impropriety” and declared that it would oppose it on all fronts. Party spokesperson Arun Jaitley maintained that the four Governors had done no wrong warranting their removal.

Stoutly defending the decision, the Congress observed that the four Governors were sacked not because they belonged to any one political party but were “for a long time associated with the Sangh Parivar” or the RSS.

The Left parties said they would like to remind former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mr Advani of their suggestion way back in 1977 that when governments change, it will be appropriate for the Governors appointed by a particular regime to resign of their own volition.

There are precedents of the President withdrawing his pleasure pertaining to the continuance of a Governor. It happened in 1980-81 against then Tamil Nadu Governor Prabhu Das Patwari and Rajasthan’s Raghukul Tilak. The NDA had petitioned to Mr Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against the move to remove Governors. Dr Singh and Mr Patil called on the President on Wednesday and apprised him the of the reasons why the UPA government desired changes in the Raj Bhawans in Haryana, Gujarat, Goa and Uttar Pradesh. The Sarkaria Commission report on Centre-State relations had underlined that eminent persons without any party affiliation should be appointed as Governors in consultation with the state governments. The Constitutional Review Commission had endorsed the stand of the Sarkaria Commission with the rider that once a Governor is appointed he/she should be allowed to complete the five-year term.


Governors should have resigned: Left
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India have said that the four Governors dismissed today should have resigned following the change of government at the Centre.

CPM leader in the Lok Sabha Basudeb Acharia told TNS today that the Governors having allegiance to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) should be removed.

“We have a secular government and Governors having allegiance to any communal organisation should not be allowed to continue holding office.”


Proud to be RSS members, say ex-Governors

New Delhi, July 2
Reacting sharply to the Centre’s dismissal of saffron Governors in four states, heads of Raj Bhavan in Uttar Pradesh and Goa Vishnukant Shastri and Kedarnath Sahni today asserted that they were proud to be associated with the RSS and dubbed their removal as contrary to established principles of democracy.

“I am very proud to be associated with the RSS and I want to ask if being a swayamsevak of the RSS is a crime”, Mr Shastri told reporters in Lucknow.

“This act is not proper and does not augur well for democracy”, Mr Shastri said.

Mr Sahni, who was removed as Goa Governor, expressed concern in Panaji over the reported statement of Union Minister of State for Home Sri Prakash Jaiswal that the government could replace Governors who had an RSS connection and said, “I will always be a part of the RSS and am proud of it.”

“I have written a letter to the President regarding this. All citizens of this country have a right to freedom of expression, including those associated with the RSS,” he said. — PTIBack


Resignations of 31 UP ministers accepted
Our Correspondent

Lucknow, July 2
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav today set the ball rolling to prune his ministry and handed over the resignation letters of 31 ministers to Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri. The list included two Cabinet ministers.

Mr Yadav met the Governor in the morning and handed over the resignation letters of two Cabinet ministers and 29 Ministers of State to Mr Shastri, a Raj Bhavan spokesman told reporters here.

“The resignations have been accepted,” he said.

The state assembly has 403 MLAs, thus Mr Yadav can have 60 ministers, including himself.

With the resignation of 31 ministers, the strength Mulayam’s Cabinet stands at 60. This includes Ms Anuradha Chaudhry who was Irrigation Minister and has been elected to the Lok sabha.

There are speculations that in place of Ms Chaudhry, Independent MLA from Kunda Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiya, will be included into the ministry.Back

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