Debating India

4 Governors dismissed

Vinay Kumar

Saturday 3 July 2004, by KUMAR*Vinay

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Kidar Nath Sahani (Goa)

NEW DELHI, JULY 2. The Centre today dismissed four Governors - Kidar Nath Sahani of Goa, Kailashpati Mishra of Gujarat, Babu Parmanand of Haryana and Vishnu Kant Shastri of Uttar Pradesh. It announced that Lt. Gen. (retd.) M.M. Lakhera, would replace N.N. Jha, who recently resigned, as the Lt. Governor of Pondicherry.

The United Progressive Alliance Government has not immediately named successors to the sacked Governors. Instead, additional responsibilities have been given to the Governors of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Uttaranchal.

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Kailashpati Mishra (Gujarat )

In official and Congress circles, the names of the former Nagaland Chief Minister, S.C. Jamir, the former Intelligence Bureau chief, T.V. Rajeshwar, the former Bihar Governor and Rajya Sabha member, A.R. Kidwai, and the former Union Minister and Congress leader, Nawal Kishore Sharma, are being mentioned for possible gubernatorial assignments.

Today, the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, directed that the Governors of Goa, Gujarat, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh "shall cease to hold office of Governor of their respective States," a Rashtrapati Bhavan communiqué said.

This has ended one phase of the controversy over gubernatorial assignments in which some of the Governors appointed by the erstwhile Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance Government refused to put in their papers even though they had been given more than a hint that the Government wanted them to do so. The Bharatiya Janata Party has said it will continue to oppose this decision and make an issue of it in and outside Parliament.

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Vishnu Kant Shastri (Uttar Pradesh)

The presidential communiqué stated that Mohammad Fazal, Governor of Maharashtra, would discharge the functions of the Goa Governor; Balram Jakhar, Governor of Madhya Pradesh, would oversee Gujarat; Justice Om Prakash Verma (retd.), Governor of Punjab, would be in-charge of Haryana; and Sudarshan Agarwal, Governor of Uttaranchal, would take care of Uttar Pradesh.

Today’s dismissal ends days of speculation that began with the resignation of Delhi’s Lt. Governor, Vijai Kapoor, who had completed his tenure. He was replaced by B.L. Joshi, a former Rajasthan police officer. The Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, had indicated that the Government expected "political appointees" in the Raj Bhavans to quit on their own. Over the last few days, a BJP delegation led by the Leader of the Opposition, L.K. Advani, met the President and the Prime Minister separately to press home its point that Governors should be allowed to complete their five-year tenure. Apparently, the subject also came up for discussion when the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, accompanied by Mr. Patil, called on the President on Wednesday. The same night Mr. Patil rung up Mr. Advani, seeking his help in securing the resignations of the Governors the new Government wanted to replace.

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Babu Parmanand (Haryana)

Besides Delhi and Pondicherry, the Government has so far made two other gubernatorial appointments - Dr. Jakhar in Madhya Pradesh and R.L. Bhatia in Kerala - against the vacancies caused by the deaths of Ram Prakash Gupta and Sikander Bakht.

There was speculation that the Governor of Rajasthan, Madan Lal Khurana, and his Bihar counterpart, Rama Jois, would also be removed, But for the moment, they have not been touched.

See online : The Hindu

P.S.

in The Hindu, Saturday, July 03, 2004.

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