M A I N   N E W S

UP Governor quits, more may follow
Tribune News Service

Qureshi appointed UP Guv

BL Joshi
forced to quit?
BL Joshi

President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday accepted the resignation of BL Joshi as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. The President has appointed Dr Aziz Qureshi, Governor of Uttarakhand, as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, in addition to his existing duties.

Facing the axe

It is learnt Union Home Secretary called Governors of 5 states, requesting them to put in their papers
The fate of Governors MK Narayanan (West Bengal) and Kamla Beniwal (Gujarat) too remains uncertain

New Delhi, June 17
Undeterred by a judgement of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court saying that Governors cannot be changed with the change of dispensation, the BJP-led NDA regime has reportedly initiated the process to remove some of the Governors. Uttar Pradesh Governor BL Joshi resigned today, reportedly after a nudge from the Centre to quit. The tenure of Joshi had expired a few months ago and he was sworn in again for another term.

The government may adjust several BJP leaders in Raj Bhawans across the country. The names doing the rounds for Karnataka, Maharashtra and Haryana include veterans Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh and VK Malhotra.

Others in the reckoning are former Finance Minister Yaswant Sinha and expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh.

Although the BJP is silent, party sources say that former Lucknow MP Lalji Tandon, senior party leader from Madhya Pradesh Kailash Joshi, former Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Kesari Nath Tripathi and O Rajagopal from Kerala may be made Governors. Joshi, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kanpur, has not been included in the Modi Cabinet while Kalyan Singh and Sinha opted not to contest elections in favour of their sons.

Governors of various states have called on Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the past three days. It is learnt that Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami called five Governors, including K Sankaranarayanan of Maharashtra, to put in their papers. It is being said that Governors MK Narayanan (West Bengal) and Kamla Beniwal (Gujarat) have also been nudged to resign.

Kerala Governor and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit refused to comment on media reports. Karnataka Governor HR Bhardawaj, who like Beniwal did not share a good rapport with the BJP government in the state, called on the President today.

Assam Governor JB Patnaik, who also met the President, said: “I have not resigned. If there is a rumour (about my resignation) I cannot help.”

In the past, Governors were removed when power changed hands at the Centre. However, things changed in May 2010 when a five-judge Supreme Court Constitution Bench headed by then Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan held that a Governor cannot be replaced with the change of the government. The Bench made it clear that a Governor could be changed only under compelling reasons for proven misconduct or other irregularities.

The Supreme Court directions come on a petition filed by Uttar Pradesh former DGP and BJP’s Rajya Sabha member BP Singhal, brother of Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Ashok Singhal.

Singhal had filed a PIL in 2004 challenging the removal of Governors of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Orissa by the previous UPA Government.

The UPA Government in its first term had removed Vishnu Kant Shastri, Babu Parmanand, Kailashpati Mishra and Kidarnath Sahni from gubernatorial posts in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Goa, respectively.





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