New Delhi: Upping the ante against Gujarat Governor Dr Kamla Beniwal for unilaterally appointing Lokayukta in the state, the BJP on Tuesday demanded that she be recalled.
Cornering the government in Lok Sabha, senior BJP leader LK Advani said that the Governor’s move to appoint former Gujarat High Court judge RA Mehta as the new Lokayukta without the consent of Chief Minister Narendra Modi was an attack on the federal structure.
Advani said this is not the first time that Gujarat’s federal jurisdiction has come under attack.
Leader of the Opposition Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said, "As per Article 163 of the Constitution, the governor has to work according to the aid and advice of the council of ministers. The lokayukta was appointed without informing the chief minister."
While in Rajya Sabha, BJP leader Arun Jailtey said the Governor has lost the right to continue in the post.
"Under section 3(1) of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, the governor can appoint a lokayukta in consultation with the chief justice of the high court and in consultation with the leader of opposition of the state assembly. The intention of the law is not to exclude the chief minister of the state," he said.
"We have reason to believe that the Governor would also be nudged by the Centre to do this.... The governor should be removed forthwith," Jaitley observed.
He asked what would be the credibility of the reports of a Lokayukta who was appointed by the Governor, who in turn is appointed on the advice of the Central government.
A delegation of BJP MPs will meet President Pratibha Patil on September 3 to demand recall of Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal.
Both houses of parliament were adjourned for the day on Tuesday following the BJP vociferous demand for the recall of Gujarat Governor.
Earlier, MPs belonging to the BJP sat on a dharna inside Parliament complex, protesting against the appointment of Gujarat Lokayukta.
The Lok Sabha was today hit by an uproar over the Lokayukta row.
The BJP had in the morning given notices in Parliament for the suspension of Question Hour in both Houses so that a discussion could be held on the appointment of Gujarat Lokayukta.
BJP claims the Governor’s move is violation of Article 163 of the Constitution which states that the Governor should act on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
The BJP feels this is a breach of federal principles as the Governor is allegedly acting at the behest of the UPA government at the Centre and against the state government.
It should be noted that the post of Lokayukta had been lying vacant in Gujarat for the past seven years.
The BJP`s objection to Mehta`s appointment as Lokayukta is that he is an activist who has spoken against the state government in the past.
Centre sees nothing wrong in Guj Guv`s move
New Delhi: Dismissing BJP`s opposition to appointment of Lokayukta by Gujarat Governor bypassing the Chief Minister, the Centre said as per the law Governor is supposed to consult only the Chief Justice of High Court in the matter and it should be left to the court to decide the issue.
"The act, as I understand, says the governor will consult the chief justice. You can`t read things into it," Law Minister Salman Khurshid said.
He was asked about the objections raised by the BJP in Parliament on the appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat without consulting the Chief Minister on August 26.