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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 18/06/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Bjp-led government moves to sack upa-appointed state governors googletag.

the ruling bharatiya janata party (bjp)-led national democratic alliance (nda) was on tuesday headed for a major showdown with the opposition congress-led united progressive alliance (upa) over the reported moves by it to remove several state governors appointed by the latter after the change of government at the centre.

three weeks after assuming office on may 26 prime minister narendra modi’s government is understood to have sent feelers to several such appointees of the previous upa government to put in their papers.

even as the speculation gathered momentum there were reports that uttar pradesh governor b l joshi a former indian police service (ips) officer who began a second term only in march this year had sent in his resignation to president pranab mukherjee.

there were also reports that governors janaki ballav patnaik of assam hansraj bhardwaj and margaret alva of rajasthan would meet mukherjee on tuesday. alva had met modi earlier in the day in what was officially described as a “courtesy call”.

several of the governors including patnaik alva bhardwaj d y patil of bihar kamala beniwal of gujarat jagannath pahadia of haryana and devanand konwar of tripura are due to retire in the coming months. others like m k narayanan of west bengal k shankarnarayanan of maharashtra ashwani kumar of nagaland shivraj patil of punjab and sheila dikshit of kerala have longer tenures remaining.

there were indications that some of the governors would wait for the centre to act and not step down on their own.

dikshit who was chief minister of delhi for 15 years took over as governor of kerala only in march this year after she lost the assembly elections in dcember 2013. reports suggested that if she did not quit the centre might transfer her to a north-eastern state.

asked by journalists in thiruvananthapuram this morning about her plans against the background of the centre’s reported moves she only said “i can’t react to rumours”.

the congress has reacted strongly to the modi government’s moves with a senior party leader p c chacko describing it as a witchhunt. another congress leader ambika soni said governors held constitutional positions and were beyond party politics and should not be removed in such manner with a change of government.

nationalist congress party (ncp) leader tariq anwar felt the nda should not act in haste in such matters while the samajwadi party said the moves were aimed at “saffronisation” of the governor’s offices.

uttar pradesh bjp president laxmikant bajpai said the resignation of joshi as the governor of the state was a “natural course of action” after the change of government at the centre.

senior bjp leader subramanian swamy said the governors should have quit on their own without being nudged to do so. according to him all of them owed their positions to their “proximity” to congress president sonia gandhi and none of them had been chosen on considerations of merit. other bjp leaders said the centre should ask the governors to resign and sack them if they did not do so. the names of several senior bjp leaders are being mentioned as possible new governors including kailash joshi lalji tandon kalyan singh balram das tandon and vijay kumar malhotra.

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