Aizawl/New Delhi, Aug 24 IANS | 24 days ago

The Congress-ruled northeastern state of Mizoram is likely to have the dubious distinction of having four governors in less than two months.


Maharashtra governor K. Sankaranarayanan was Sunday transferred to Mizoram for the remainder of his term which is scheduled to end in 2017. He resigned later in the day.

The successive transfers of the Mizoram governor started with Vakkom B. Purushothaman when he was transferred to Nagaland July 6.

Purushothaman resigned July 11 claiming he was not consulted on his transfer.

Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal was then transferred to Mizoram after Purushothaman was moved as governor of Nagaland with additional charge of Tripura.

Kamla Beniwal, 87, assumed office July 9 as the 12th governor of Mizoram. In less than a month, Beniwal was sacked from the gubernatorial post Aug 6.

Former union home secretary Vinod Kumar Duggal, the incumbent governor of Manipur, was given additional charge of Mizoram.

He assumed office Aug 8 as the 13th governor of the mountainous state bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Beniwal, who had a strained relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was Gujarat chief minister, was sacked two months before her tenure comes to an end.

Beniwal was the second governor removed from her post by the National Democratic Alliance government. Former Puducherry governor Virendra Kataria was sacked July 12.

After the Narendra Modi government took charge May 26, six governors resigned following signals from the government. They were B.L. Joshi (Uttar Pradesh), Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), M.K. Narayanan (West Bengal), B.V. Wanchoo (Goa) and Vakkom B. Purushothaman (Mizoram).

Earlier, media reports said the BJP-led government was pressurising some of the governors appointed by the previous Congress-led regime - including Sankaranarayanan - to relinquish office in June.

Sankaranarayanan had then said he would resign if asked by "appropriate authorities".

Octogenarian Sankaranarayanan is a Congress leader from Kerala and has held several posts including that of state minister for finance and agriculture. He was also convenor of the United Democratic Front, the Congress-led ruling combine in Kerala.

He was first appointed governor of Nagaland, and then moved to Jharkhand. He was first posted as Maharashtra governor Jan 22, 2010.

Sankaranarayanan was re-appointed Maharashtra governor for the second term in 2012 by the previous Congress-led central government. His term was supposed to end in 2017.

A Congress leader in Aizawl said the NDA government has chosen Mizoram Raj Bhavan as a "punishment centre" for governors appointed by the previous government.

"This approach and mindset would make the constitutional posts 'babyish assignments'," the Congress leader told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The Congress Sunday criticised the government for exercising its power in an "extremely arbitrary manner" over the transfer of Sankaranarayanan to Mizoram.

"This government chooses to exercise power in an extremely arbitrary manner. It is like deja vu. Kamla Beniwal was transferred to Mizoram and after that, she saw it on television that she was dismissed as the governor of Mizoram. Authoritarianism is really the DNA of the government," Congress leader Manish Tewari said in New Delhi.

(Posted on 24-08-2014)

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