Ahmedabad: Amid reports that Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal could be among the UPA government appointees on their way out of Raj Bhavans, state Congress on Tuesday denounced the move as "undemocratic".
"Our Governor always remained neutral and stopped Narendra Modi from appointing a Lokayukta of his own choice. Modi is now trying to replace the Governor soon after becoming Prime Minister.
We strongly condemn this undemocratic move by Modi," Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia said.
Modi had uneasy relations with Beniwal during his stint as Chief Minister. The two were locked in a turf war over the appointment of Lokayukta and the matter was dragged to the Supreme Court after the Governor appointed the anti-corruption ombudsman bypassing the state government.
"The Supreme Court has made it clear that Governor is a Constitutional entity. Governors are not at the mercy of government and you must have concrete reasons for removing the Governor. They (the Centre) have only political reasons (for taking such a step), which we strongly condemn" he said.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Shankersinh Vaghela too criticised the reported move.
"Once during his speech, Modi addressed her (Beniwal) as Matru-Tulya (like mother). If he really meant it, then he must prove it. This is not the way you treat your mother" said Vaghela.
When reached for comments, Beniwal`s office declined to say anything as there was no official communication from the Centre on the issue.
"I have seen news reports on TV. But as there is no official communication from Centre, the Governor does not wish to comment on this," her press secretary M M Shaikh said.
Beniwal was appointed Gujarat Governor in November 2009 and her 5 year tenure will end on 27 November this year.