New Delhi, June 17, 2014: With the change of government at the Centre, Governors appointed by the UPA government are under pressure to resign. Uttar Pradesh Governor BL Joshi has set the ball rolling by deciding to quit on Tuesday.
Though there is no official confirmation yet, many other Governors have resigned or about to resign soon.
Assam Governor JB Patnaik was also said to have resigned but he later told mediapersons that he has not resigned. "If there is a rumour (about his resignation) I cannot help," he said.
The speculation had gained weight after Patnaik met President Pranab Mukherjee today.
Patnaik, a former Congress chief minister of Odisha, said meeting the President, who is his friend, did not mean that he was resigning.
Karnataka Governor H R Bhardawaj, who had an uneasy relationship with the then BJP government in the state, also called on the President today.
Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva met Prime Minister Narendra Modi which was described as a courtesy call. She is also scheduled to call on the President later today.
Former Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit, who was made Kerala Governor hours before the model code of conduct of Lok Sabha polls came in to force, said she cannot comment on media reports (on the Centre wanting her to quit).
Others who are in pressure to quit are Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal, her Punjab counterpart Shivraj Patil. MK Narayanan (West Bengal) and K Sankanarayanan (Maharashtra) may also have to quit Raj Bhavan.
The Union Home Secretary had reportedly called up Governors of many states and suggested that they put in their papers. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) also, reportedly, sought details of the tenures of at least eight Governors who are due to retire by the year-end.
Joshi’s resignation came hours after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that incumbent Governors should have resigned themselves as most of them were appointed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and not on merit.
“With a new central Govt,its an expected process,so BL Joshi ji(UP Governor) by resigning has done the right thing,” UP BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpai said.
The BJP has reasons to be in a hurry as several senior party leaders like MM Joshi, Lalji Tandon, VK Malhotra, Kalyan Singh, Shanta Kumar and BC Khanduri, who could not find place in the Modi cabinet are eyeing the gubernatorial assignment.