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In The Firing Line: Governors resist pressure to resign

Several of the UPA-appointed Governors are holding out against attempts by the Centre to force them to quit

New Delhi/Mumbai: Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan today appeared to have dug his heels in against Centre's request to him to quit as some more of his counterparts in other states kept up their defiance.

Two days after Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami called some of the Governors appointed during UPA government's tenure to resign in the wake of change of government in the Centre, pressure appears to have been mounted to secure their resignation but nothing was in the offing.

While West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan, who is said to be one of those called by Goswami, today said he has not resigned "yet", Sankaranarayanan said he would consider quitting only if an "appropriate decision-making authority" asks him to do so.

Maharashtra Governor K SankaranarayananMaharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan

"Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami called me twice during last week (asking to demit office). I didn't reply to him anything...the Governor's post is a constitutional post. He is a representative of the President, he is appointed by the President. No responsible person has asked me anything in writing to (be) relieved of the post.

"There is no vacuum in the Governor's post. No position in a democracy is permanent. If an appropriate decision-making authority asks me (to quit), I will definitely think over it," he told a Malayalam TV channel.

82-year-old Sankaranarayanan has been serving as Maharashtra Governor since January 22, 2010. He took oath as Governor of the state for a second time on May 7, 2012 after the President granted him a fresh term of 5 years.

Meanwhile, Karantaka Governor H R Bharadwaj met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and spoke in riddles about resignation.

There was speculation that Nagaland Governor Ashwini Kumar may tender resignation soon. 

However, Kumar was critical of the Centre's move to replace the Governors appointed during the UPA rule wondering if the NDA government wants Governors of a "particular colour" in states.

He said the move smacked of political vendetta". "I believe that the reason behind replacing the Governors in different states is essentially a political consideration. There is a new government and I believe that it wants Governors of a particular colour in the states and that seems to be the motivation," he said.

"And if that is not the motivation, if the motivation is to invent cases against the incumbent Governors, then clearly it is not a sign of large heartedness and it smacks of an attitude of political vendetta. I hope that is not the case," Ashwani Kumar added.

Ruling out his resignation, Bharadwaj said Governors cannot resign unless their replacement is in place. "There is a provision in the constitution that the Governor shall continue unless the new Governor is appointed. So, that has been the provision, how can you act irresponsibly"? he told reporters.

Bharadwaj, who has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow, said "Governors cannot resign. They have to stay according to the constitution in their headquarters unless the President appoints a new Governor".

Uttar Pradesh Governor B L Joshi had yesterday resigned as the Modi government started the process of removing Governors appointed by the previous regime.

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