Unconstitutional interference by governors to favour BJP, is it cooperative federalism, asks Delhi CM

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Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, on Saturday expressed concern on the unconstitutional intervention by BJP governors in non-BJP ruled states.

His statement came hours after Assam chief minister, Tarun Gogoi, urged President Pranab Mukherjee to remove the state governor, PB Acharya, who he claimed was working more like a BJP worker.

Taking a potshot on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much talked about cooperative federalism, Kejriwal said, “Many CMs complaining of unconstitutional interference by Governors to favor BJP. Is this coop federalism? (sic)”

Earlier today, Gogoi requested President Pranab Mukherjee for his immediate intervention in replacing acting Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya.

The BJP, however, came out in support of Acharya, saying there was no possibility of his removal.

Gogoi sent a letter to Mukherjee on Saturday seeking Acharya’s replacement, as his continuing in the post “would cause immense difficulty in functioning of the parliamentary democracy system and create fissures in the secular ethos of the state”.

Acharya has been holding the charge of acting Assam governor along with Nagaland.

“We had welcomed Acharya to our state as we presumed that being a high constitutional functionary, he would conduct himself fairly, cautiously and circumspectly. However, I am pained to say that ever since assuming office, the governor, through his actions, has steadily lowered the prestige of the institution of the governor,” Gogoi wrote.

Giving several examples, Gogoi said Acharya made a “shocking” public statement that “Hindustan is for Hindus” on 21 November.

“His statement has created uproar across the nation with almost all sections of the society condemning his utterance and the ideology behind it,” Gogoi said.

He said such a remark reflects the “divisive and communal mindset”, and was in flagrant violation of the secular tenets of the Constitution.

Gogoi said Acharya unilaterally altered a panel of six people from unrepresented communities as nominated members, submitted by the Bodoland Territorial Council, and recommended by the council of ministers, and replaced four of them with nominees of his own choice.

The chief minister also said that Acharya, in his capacity as chancellor of Dibrugarh University, “contrary to statutory norms 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 said that during his tenure as chief minister for the past 14 years, he worked with “outstandingly wise individuals” who enhanced the prestige of the institution of governor, but Acharya has “steadily lowered the prestige”.

Meanwhile, the BJP came out in Acharya’s support.

“A governor cannot be removed whenever a particular political party wants his removal. Different people may demand different things but that does not mean that everything will be accepted,” party leader Ram Madhav told the media in Guwahati.

Madhav said Gogoi was playing “divisive politics in the name of language” and the governor’s statement was misinterpreted intentionally to confuse the people ahead of the 2016 assembly polls.

“Election is round the corner and Gogoi is trying to create a rift between the Hindi-speaking and non-Hindi-speaking people. This is very unfortunate,” Madhav said.

 

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