Assam CM Gogoi urges President to intervene in replacing Governor
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday urged President Pranab Mukherjee for his immediate intervention for replacement of acting state Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya who has allegedly "converted his office into an annex of BJP office".
Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday urged President Pranab Mukherjee for his immediate intervention for replacement of acting state Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya who has allegedly "converted his office into an annex of BJP office".
In a letter to the President today, Gogoi alleged the continuance of Acharya as in-charge Governor of Assam would cause immense difficulty in functioning of parliamentary democracy and create fissures in the state's secular ethos.
"We had welcomed Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya to our State as we presumed that being a high Constitutional functionary, he would conduct himself fairly, cautiously and circumspectly," he said.
"However, I am pained to say that ever since assuming office, the Governor of Assam through his actions has steadily lowered the prestige of the institution of the Governor," the Chief Minister asserted.
Gogoi alleged that Acharya has been "making no distinction between his constitutional functioning as Governor of a State and his political and ideological instincts which are evidently linked to the ruling party at the Centre, the BJP, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh".
He said, "Acharya made a shocking public statement that 'Hindustan is for Hindus' on November 21 last."
Such a statement, which was condemned by almost all sections of society, "reflect the unacceptably divisive and communal mindset of an incumbent holding a high Constitutional post" and "is in flagrant violation of the secular tenets of the Constitution", the Chief Minister said.
Acharya unilaterally altered a panel belonging to the unrepresented communities as nominated members submitted by the Bodoland Territorial Areas and recommended by the Council of Ministers and replaced four of the six names with nominees of his own choice, Gogoi alleged.
"Aggrieved by this act of the Governor, the BTC filed a writ petition in the Gauhati High Court and the latter kept the notification issued by the State Government in abeyance," he said.
Gogoi said the Governor in his capacity as Chancellor of Assam Agricultural University constituted a three-member committee to probe allegations against its Vice-Chancellor.
"The institution of the enquiry was challenged in the Gauhati High Court which then suspended the operation of the notification constituting the enquiry committee," he added.
The Chief Minister also brought to the notice of the President the nomination of 10 members to the Court of Dibrugarh University by Acharya in his capacity as Chancellor of the University.
"Contrary to statutory norms of the university the Governor of Assam nominated four members to the Court of Dibrugarh University who hardly have any academic distinction other than being office bearers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or its sister organisations", Gogoi alleged.
"The Governor ignored deserving persons from Assam with brilliant educational background and sound social reputation and instead nominated people from other States by virtue of their affiliation with the RSS," he said.
In the letter, Gogoi also mentioned about a meeting Acharya had with a delegation of the BJP leaders at Raj Bhawan on September 21.
"It is clear from video footage of the meeting aired on local TV channels that during the discussions, the Governor was advising on BJP's political strategy like a senior BJP executive rather than acting like a Constitutional functionary. While the Governor may certainly interact with a delegation of a political party, it is shocking that the high office of Governor has been converted to an annex of the BJP office," Gogoi alleged.
"These incidents have been a big disappointment to me. Throughout my tenure as Chief Minister, Assam during the past 14 years, I have had the privilege of interacting with outstanding wise individuals who have enhanced the respect and prestige of the institution of Governor and have functioned not only as the Constitutional head of our State but also a mentor to the State Government," he said.