Recently, Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi, voicing his protest against sacking from his position has approached the court. Let’s have a look at the spate of change/reshuffle in gubernatorial positions since Narendra Modi took charge of Prime Minist

Governors who have resigned since Modi-era started

1.    K Sankaranarayanan

82-year old K Sankaranarayanan was appointed the Governor of Maharashtra in 2010. He had taken oath as Governor for a second time on May 7, 2012 after the President granted him a fresh term.

Sankaranarayanan, who was appointed by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, has recently been asked by the Centre to resign. When he refused to do so, he was transferred to Mizoram.

He decided to quit from his position and eventually put in his papers.

2.    MK Narayan

MK Narayan, who was the third National Security Advisor (2005-2010), became the 24th Governor of West Bengal on 24th January 2010. He resigned from his post on 30th June, 2014, a little over a month after NDA government came to power.

3.    Ashwini Kumar

Ashwini Kumar became the Governor of Nagaland on 21st March, 2013 and resigned from his post in June this year.

Previously, he has served as the DGP of Himachal Pradesh, from August 2006 to July 2008. Kumar was also the CBI Director, from 2nd August 2008 to 30th November 2010.

4.    BL Joshi

BL Joshi, who hails from a tiny hamlet of Nagor district in Rajasthan, began his career in state police. He moved to the Centre in 1962. After being associated with several ministries, he took voluntary retirement from IPS in 1991 and became a social worker.

On 28th July 2009, he became the Governor of Uttar Pradesh and stepped down from his position on 17th June 2014.

5.    Shekhar Dutt

He was the Defence Secretary in 2005. Dutt held several important bureaucratic positions as well. He became the Governor of Chhattisgarh on 25th January 2010 and resigned from his position on 19th June, 2014.

6.    Virendra Kataria

Kataria, who was the former Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, had to relinquish his office last month. A former Congress leader, he represented Punjab in the Rajya Sabha from 1992 to 1998.

7.    Kamla Beniwal

87-year old veteran Congress leader held several positions in Rajasthan Cabinet on different occasions. She became the Governor of Tripura in 2009. Later she was shifted to Gujarat.

She had been at loggers head with then Chief Minister Narendra Modi over Lokayukta appointment in Gujarat.

After Modi came to power in May, she was transferred to Mizoram. Later she was removed from her position on 6th August, 2014 on corruption charges.

Changing roles

The Governor is the Central government’s representative in a state and much like the President’s powers, the executive power is vested with Governor. Till 1967 general elections, the role of Governors did not attract much attention of the people. However, the changing landscape of national politics, the role of this constitutional post has witnessed some changes as well.
Changes in political arena

The general elections of 1967 turned out to be a revolutionary one for the national political scenario. Though the Congress was able to retain power at the Centre, it had lost out on eight states. Later, non-Congress and other alliance governments went on to rule those states.

Though these parties had come on same platform against the Congress during the polls, they eventually had fell out later. As a result, several coalition governments had witnessed unrest in the states. This had led to a change in the scheme of things and the era of opportunistic politics also started fermenting.

During that era, the role of Governors became not only important but difficult as well. In the changing times, the Governors started feeling the pressure when it came to discharge their duties and responsibilities. All of a sudden, the Governor’s office became important and controversial. For the first time, the role of this Constitutional position was questioned.

As a result, a new political debate surfaced over restructuring of Governor’s position.

Vanguard of politics of revenge

Whenever a particular party came to power, this constitutional position was exploited. In 1977, the Janata Party came to power. It did not leave any stone unturned in destabilizing the state governments ruled by Opposition parties.
As a result, then Janata Party government had dismissed the Congress ruled nine governments in nine states.  In 1980, Indira Gandhi returned to power. Playing a vendetta politics, she dismissed the governments in those nine states and imposed President’s Rule there.

Crucial verdict

After the UPA government came to power in 2004, it ousted several Governors appointed by the previous NDA regime even before the completion of their tenure. The issue made its way to Supreme Court.

In its crucial verdict in 2010, the Apex Court said that the Governors are not employees of the Central government. The court further observed that the Governors can’t be sacked according to the whims and fancies of the government and there should be an appropriate reason behind that.

Latest News from India News Desk