New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday asked Governors to perform their duties within the framework of Constitution, in comments that came against the backdrop of controversies involving some governors like those from Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura.
In his New Year message to the Governors through video conferencing from Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President also said they should respect the distinct authority and responsibility vested in each of the three organs of the State.
"They must perform their duties and obligations within the framework of the Constitution. In other words, they must play their assigned role while respecting the distinct authority and responsibility vested in each of the three organs of the state, that is, the executive, the judiciary and the legislature," the President said, noting that the Governors are the constitutional heads of their respective states.
He said Governors, with their wisdom, experience and moral authority, must help create a harmonious relationship between the Centre and the states which will be in the best interest of the state and its people.
Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa on December 9 advanced the winter session of the state assembly to December 16 from January 14, 2016 which evoked strong protest from Chief Minister Nabam Tuki camp and also several mass-based organisations.
Rajkhowa was accused of violating constitution with several parties demanding that he be sacked.
The Congress government in the frontier state faced the heat of rebellion from 21 party MLAs out of total 47 during the year. 21 MLAs including six ministers joined hands with former Finance Minister Kalikho Pul to try and topple Tuki.
Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy had courted controversy from time to time through his tweets including his remark that all those who attended the last rites of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon in Mumbai were potential terrorists who must now be keenly watched by the intelligence agencies.
President Mukherjee asked the Governors to use their astute leadership, power of persuasion and balancing influence with the Chief Ministers to help in the transformative process using the Centre's flagship programmes such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart City Mission, Digital India, Make in India,
Skilling India, and the Start-up India initiatives.
"Each of these programmes have a specific role in the making of a new India where there would be greater opportunities for its citizens especially the youth," he said.
The President also asked the Governors to use their roles as Visitors of the Universities to motivate them to become institutions, to become smart campuses.
"Through technology demonstration, they can also become the nucleus for inclusive development in their regions. You can impress upon these institutes to adopt at least five villages which they can help transform into model villages," he said.