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Sack Governor, demand MLAs

Monday 15 May 2006, by CHANDRAMOHAN*C.K.

Controversy in Uttaranchal over his role as NGO chief

DEHRA DUN: The Him Jyoti Foundation-Uttaranchal Governor, Sudarshan Aggarwal controversy assumed larger political dimensions over the weekend with several ruling Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs demanding the immediate dismissal of the Governor.

The firebrand Congress MLA, Pradeep Tamta wanted the Governor to be dismissed as he had allegedly lowered the status of his constitutional position by raising funds for his NGO. He also objected to the Governor resigning from the presidentship of the Him Jyoti Foundation and appointing, J C Pant, chairman of the Uttaranchal Administrative Reforms Commission as the new president as he ( Mr Pant) too was holding a constitutional position and could not function freely while involved in fund raising activities. Mr Tamta also wanted to know how the Government had provided for Rs 50 lakhs as grant to the Him Jyoti Foundation in this year’s budget. Are there no other NGO’s doing real-time work for the poor in the State? he asked at a press conference here.

Surendra Kumar, Chief Spokesperson of the Congress while opposing the Governor’s role in establishing and running an NGO said that the party was collecting facts and would take suitable action if necessary.

The Leader of the Opposition, Matwar Singh Kandari wanted to know how the Raj Bhawan was used as a fund raising establishment. The President must take suitable action against Mr Aggarwal, he said.

Mr Aggarwal, who was appointed Governor during the NDA regime allegedly due to his proximity to the BJP leader, L K Advani however found some support from the former Chief Minister Nitya Nand Swami and former Finance Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. Both said vested interests were trying to malign Mr Aggarwal who was doing a great service to the poor.

Avdhash Kaushal, chairperson of the Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra accused the Governor of encouraging corruption and doling out large tracts of prime land to favourites from outside the State at a nominal fee of Rs one. "Even the bureaucrats have started writing in their orders that the particular land was being transferred to someone as per the directives of the Governor," he said adding that only an impartial probe will reveal the extent of loot of public funds and property.

It may be mentioned that Vijay Rawat, State Secretary of the Communist Party of India ( Marxist), Raja Bahuguna, State incharge of the Communist Party of India ( Marxist- Leninist), Samar Bhandari, State Secretary of the Communist Party of India and Omi Uniyal representative of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal had on lat Thursday petitioned the Presidentto dismiss Mr Aggarwal as he had allegedly violated constitutional norms.

See online : The Hindu

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