New Delhi: A row has erupted over the sacking of Kamla Beniwal as the Governor of Mizoram by the Narendra Modi government. The Congress has demanded explanation from Home Minister Rajnath Singh on why Beniwal has been sacked while other political parties have also questioned the move.
"This is a violation of not only the Supreme Court judgement but also the Constitution. The Home Minister must explain as to why Kamla Beniwal was removed. Governors are constitutional authorities and cannot be trifled with," Congress leader Manish Tewari said.
The Janata Dal United has called the move vindictive. "It is clearly vindictive action, they are taking revenge," said JDU leader Ali Anwar.
The BJP, however, has defended its move. "There is no politics involved in this, there were serious allegations against her and action has been taken. Everything has happened according to law and the Constitution," said BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu.
Beniwal, who had a running battle with Narendra Modi when he was Gujarat Chief Minister,
was on Wednesday sacked as Governor of Mizoram just two months before her tenure comes to an end. "The President has directed that Dr. (Smt.) Kamla shall cease to hold the office of the Governor of Mizoram," a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said, exactly a month after she was shifted to Aizwal from Ahmedabad. Governor of Manipur VK Duggal has been asked to discharge the functions of the Governor of Mizoram until regular arrangements are made, the communique said.
The sacking order brings to an end the gubernatorial tenure of 87-year-old Congress leader from Rajasthan who battled with the Modi government over the appointment of Lokayukta and some legislations during her tenure in Gujarat. During her confrontation with Modi, Beniwal appointed retired Justice RA Mehta as Lokayukta in Gujarat against which the state went in appeal to the High Court and later the Supreme Court which upheld it last year. However, it was another story that Justice Mehta did not take up the post and Modi's government named a new nominee.
Beniwal also sat over legislations passed by the state Assembly one of which provided for 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies. Beniwal was first appointed as Governor of Tripura in October, 2009 the first woman to be appointed as governor in the Northeast. However, a month later she was appointed as Gujarat Governor.
Beniwal is the second Governor to be sacked after the removal of Puducherry Lt Governor Virendra Kataria. Soon after the Modi Government assumed office, some Governors were forced to resign while a few a resisted and are still in office. Interestingly, another Congress leader Margaret Alva appointed by the UPA government was allowed to conclude her tenure in Jaipur on Tuesday.
(With additional information from PTI)